Home » Business » ZPC to Complete Emergency Plant By 2018

The Zimbabwe Power Company expects to complete construction of its 120-megawatt emergencyeaking power plant in Mutare in the next four years, chief executive Mr Noah Gwariro has said. Mr Gwariro said the power utility is planning to complete building the gas and diesel power plant by 2018, since it was one of the priority projects targeted under the Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio-Economic Transformation 201418.

The ZPC CEO said at a time when Zimbabwe and the region were facing serious power shortages, the Southern African Power Pool required member countries to develop supplementary generation capacity to reduce the deficits.

“It is one of the Zim-Asset projects. We want to complete it by 2018, but we would have preferred to complete the project much earlier than that,” Mr Gwariro said.

He said the country was experiencing serious load shedding and losing supply from the grid quite frequently due to limited output, as such an emergency power plant would come in handy to supplement what is produced from current capacity.

The peaking power plant would mean Zimbabwe will not need to rely on imports to bridge deficits at the peak of demand periods, but bring in supply from the emergency plant to avoid losing part of the grid. Often, ZPC has to switch off large parts of the country during high demand periods to balance current generation capacity of about 1 300MW against demand at peak periods of about 2 200MW.

The power station will have dual powering mechanism enabling it to run on either diesel or gas, which ZPC would import from neighbouring Mozambique.

“It will be a gas engine, but can run on both gas and diesel. Mozambique has gas and in future we will be able to get it form them,” Mr Gwariro said in an interview with The Herald Business.

ZPC has already floated the tender inviting interested companies to submit bids to undertake construction of the peaking power plant. The plant is expected to cost about $1,2 billion.

The utility is already working on a number of projects to increase generation capacity and the most aanced is the expansion of Kariba South Hydro Power Plant, which will add 300MW to the grid. Kariba South output will be expanded at an estimated cost of $533 million to be funded from a loan by China Export and Import Bank facility secured by contractor, Sino-Hydro, and additional development finance mobilised by ZPC.

Government is also in the process of negotiating with the Chinese for the expansion of Hwange Thermal Station units 6 and 7 to add another 600MW.

Further, Zimbabwe is collaborating with Zambia to build the Batoka Gorge Hydro Power Station, a project that is expected to generate in excess of 600MW.

The Batoka project, which was mooted a long time ago but remained stagnant, is finally back on track after the two countries resolved the dispute over sharing of ex-Central African Power Corporation, a Rhodesia Federation power utility.

Source : The Herald

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