ZESA seeks US $128m for Gairezi hydro power project

01 February 2019

The Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA) Holdings is seeking US $128m to finance construction of the Gairezi hydro power project in the Gairezi River which has made little progress since the tender was awarded to in 2015.

ZESA spokesman, Fullard Gwasira explained that the hydro power project which aims at reducing the cost of power in the country has not developed due to funding constraints. He however confirmed that construction of the plant will commence once funding has been secured.

“The initial preparation work is already complete and we are now seeking to raise the requisite funding. A funding application for the requisite has been made to the African Export and Import Bank (Afreximbank) and it’s reportedly being reviewed by the regional bank,” said Fullard Gwasira.

The search for funding comes after the company dropped the local partner, Intratrek Zimbabwe, which had been jointly awarded the contract for Gairezi with Indian companies Angelique International and Bharat Heavy Equipment Limited.

“The contract with the local partner was terminated last year and we are dealing with the supplier directly in line with interest of delivering a least-cost project to the people of Zimbabwe,” said Gwasira.

The Gairezi hydro power project involves replacing the current boiler plants with new Circulating Fluidized Bed (CFB) technology. The project is said to increase the generating capacities of three power stations from 310MW to 340MW.

The project has also undergone a feasibility study undertken by Norconsult and later redone by Indian firm Wapcos and has also completed ground works such as topographic survey, geo-tech survey, generation license and environmental impact assessment. The project is expected to take three years to complete once the construction commences.

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