Construction on Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority’s (ZESA’s) Hwange Power Station (HPS) 7 and 8 extension project has commenced.
Engineer Patrick Chivaura, ZESA’s acting Chief Executive and said that the project which is being carried out by Chinese energy systems giant, Sinohydro, will add 600MW to the current installed power generation capacity of 920MW.
“All preparations have been completed and actual construction works of the Hwange Power Station are underway,” he said.
Eng. Chivaura also confirmed that the project, expected to take 42 months, will be completed within time and original budget of US $2bn. The coal-fired expansion project costs US $2bn with a US $1bn contribution from China’s Exim Bank through a loan facility. Eng. Chivaura stated that they have done their first draw-down of the China loan.
The expansion project is expected to create more than 7 000 jobs directly and indirectly. 100 workers would be recruited on a 36-month fixed contract for the project. The project also requires engineers in mechanical, electrical, control and instrumentation, quality and risk as well as other administrative jobs that include logistics.
The project will also supply an additional 30% of power generation capacity in the country with a current peak period demand of 1600MW and a supply of 1400MW. The deficit is met through imports from Mozambique and South Africa
Notably, Sinohydro undertook the capacity extension works at Kariba South Power Station units 7 and 8, which added 300MW to the station’s previous capacity of 750MW. President Mnangagwa commissioned the plant in March last year.
Until the completion of Kariba South extension project, Zimbabwe imported between 350MW and 400MW, using scarce foreign currency resources, to bridge its internal power supply deficit.