Zimbabwe kick-starts $1, 4 billion power project

The Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa smiles for his civil servants, PHOTO: Zim media

Johannesburg, South Africa (ADV) – Zimbabwe recently resumed the construction of the $1, 4 billion Hwange Expansion Project for Unit 7 and 8 as it aims to progressively implement the Vision 2030 which will transform Zimbabwe into an upper middle class economy, the African Daily Voice has learnt.

The $1,488 billion project is being funded by China Exim Bank, Sinohydro and Government through Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC).

According to the Herald newspaper, the project started in earnest, with the laying of the foundation stone at Hwange Power Station yesterday – Sinohydro is undertaking the expansion project in conjunction with the ZPC.

The two companies have formed Hwange Electricity Supply Company (HESCO) to implement the project.

“Today marks an important milestone,” said Energy and Power Development Minister Dr Joram Gumbo after touring the facility.

“May I hasten to say since the inception of the expansion works, the project has seen considerable progress on the ground and is on schedule. The process of laying the foundation signifies the commencement of real construction works in a journey that will take us to the promised land of security of electricity supply as we set our sights towards the successful implementation of Vision 2030 which will transform Zimbabwe into an upper middle class economy.”

Dr Gumbo also said the expansion project is a key economic enabler as it would positively impact on the economy through the employment of in excess of 3 000 people and enhance skills transfer.

Already, 450 people from around Hwange have been employed.

Excavation work has been done while conceptual designs for the power plant, substation and transmission lines have been finalised.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa did ground-breaking for the project in June last year.

Other works to be done this year include clearing the transmission line and completing the boiler steel structure, while transmission line conductors will also be delivered.

Upon completion in 2022, the project will increase power generation from the current 600MW to 1200MW. The power station has a capacity of 900MW but is currently generating 600MW.
To enable transmission of additional power from the new plant, there will be need for construction of new powerlines from Hwange to Insukamini and Sherwood for stability as currently power is transmitted using 3x330Kv powerlines.

Sinohydro country representative Wu Yifeng said existing units would also be refurbished.

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