Home » Business » Byo West Electrification Project Launched

The project covers Emganwini , Mbundane, Cowdray Park, Pumula South, Emthunzini, Pelandaba West and Hlalo suburbs.

THE Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA) Holdings last week launched a US$10m Bulawayo West electrification programme which has so far seen the electrification of 700 houses in Emganwini and Mbundane suburbs in the country’s second largest city at a cost of over US$400 000.

The project also covers Cowdray Park, Pumula South, Emthunzini, Pelandaba West and Hlalo suburbs.

Zimbabwe Electricity Distribution and Transmission Company (ZETDC) has already started constructing an 8811KV bulk supply substation to cater for those suburbs, with the electrification project being carried out in phases over the next three years.

“It has not been possible for the utility to provide electricity infrastructure to new residential projects timely,” said Vice President Phelekezela Mphoko, while commissioning the project.

“This situation is quite retrogressive as it inhibits socio-economic growth and gives families hard times as they seek alternative sources of energy for basic needs such as cooking and lighting.”

Over 100 000 households in urban areas across Zimbabwe have no access to electricity owing to unavailability of infrastructure.

“I therefore urge local indigenous companies to take part in these electrification projects,” said Mphoko.

Energy and Power Development Minister, Samuel Undenge, acknowledged that it was taking long for ZETDC to put up electricity infrastructure for new residential projects due to lack of resources.

Mbundane suburb had gone for more than five years without connection to the country’s electricity grid.

“I therefore urge all property developers to consider electricity reticulation in the same manner that you consider other utility requirements such as roads, water and sewer reticulation,” said Undenge.

“This will go a long way in ensuring access to electricity by residents and enhance property values.”

Undenge said Zimbabwe was in the process of regaining lost generation capacity by rehabilitating all the power stations across the country.

“Whereas Kariba Hydro Power Station is done, we still have outstanding rehabilitation works at Hwange and the small thermal power stations,” he said.

“The Zimbabwe Power Company is working on a project to change the boiler technology at the small thermal power stations so that they can be more efficient and utilise less expensive coal grade,” Undenge said.

Local electricity generation is currently at 1 900megawatts installed capacity, which falls far below the demand of 2 200megawatts.

ZESA board chairman, Herbert Murerwa, said the power utility remained committed to improving power supply in the country.

Source : Financial Gazette