Home » Business » ZPC Identifies Three Sites for Power Generation

THE Zimbabwe Power Company has identified three sites as suitable for future hydro, thermal and solar power stations.

The possible locations are Devil’s Gorge Hydro Electricity Scheme along Zambezi River, upstream of Lake Kariba.

Studies have shown that about 620 megawatts can be generated at the site. ZPC, a subsidiary of ZESA Holdings has also identified Western Area Station in Hwange as another possible location for a 1 200MW coal-powered station as well as ZPC Solar project in Zvishavane. It would cost about $15 million for the Zvishavane project, according to ZPC but it has not yet calculated how much it would cost to build Devil’s Gorge Hydro Electricity Scheme and Western Area Station.

Zimbabwe is facing serious power shortages due to inadequate generating capacity, with businesses and households enduring long periods of load-shedding. The country, with vast potential for energy investments, is generating an average of 1 200MW against demand of 2 300MW.

Zimbabwe imports an average of 300MW from Mozambique and exports 150MW to Namibia.

ZPC is repaying the $40 million loan it got from NamPower, Namibia’s power utility, through power supplies.

Foreign investors, mainly from Asia, have expressed interest in the country’s power sector and are looking at generating electricity from solar, coal and methane gas. Chinese investor Sino Hydro won the contract to expand Kariba Hydro Power Station at a cost of $368 million.

Sino Hydro has already started working on preparations for the project, which will add 300 MW to the national grid.

China Machinery Engineering Company won a tender to expand Hwange Thermal Power Station. The estimated cost of the projects is $1,2 billion and will produce about 600 MW. Two Chinese companies — China Jiangxi Corporation and ZTE Corporation — are among three companies that recently won tenders to build 100-megawatt solar plants in Gwanda at a cost of US$184 million each.

Indian state-owned Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited and Shandong of China are among companies that have expressed interest in partnering RioZim Limited in setting up 250 megawatt plants at its vast coal fields of Gokwe.

The short-term strategy envisages the construction of a number of smaller power plants over the next 10 years, RioZim said in a statement recently. Its energy unit Rio Energy was in the process of bringing in technical and financial partners.

Source : The Herald