By Tawanda Musarurwa and Kudakwashe Mhundwa
Government is targeting to raise $350 million next year as financing for ongoing works at Hwange 7 and 8 thermal power stations.
The $350 million is part of $969,4 million that has been targeted for the project going forward.
The Hwange 7 and 8 rehabilitation project was placed under the Rapid Results Initiative, and has since received a facility of $144 million from the China-Eximbank.
The expansion project will see Hwange Thermal Power Station, which at the moment has an installed capacity of 920 megawatts, producing an additional 600 megawatts (MW) to the national grid.
Secretary for Finance and Economic Development Mr George Guvamatanga, said in the 2019 Zimbabwe Infrastructure Plan that Government had identified several projects under the infrastructure priority list to address emerging infrastructure gaps.
“Drawing from the Transitional Stabilisation Programme (TSP), the 2019 priority list for each sector has benefited further engagements of line ministries, respective public entities and other stakeholders.
“A number of projects across various sectors have been accorded high priority, and their execution will be tracked by cabinet under the 100 Day Programme Cycle. This will ensure resources are directed towards effective projects delivery . . . An additional amount of $969,4 million in loan funding will target on going works at Hwange 7 and 8 Thermal Power station,” he said.
The expansion, which is being undertaken through a $1,5 billion facility, is set to bring about massive socio-economic transformation through increased supply of energy to the mining, agricultural and manufacturing sectors.
The expansion project is being undertaken by the Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC), Sino Hydro of China and the China Eximbank, who are all expected to contribute to the total funding of the project. Treasury has also said part of the funding will be accessed from fiscal resources.
According to 2019 Zimbabwe Infrastructure Plan that was drafted by the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development, the $350 million targeted for next year will go towards the “completion of civil works, manufacturing of electrical mechanical works”.
Funding from China-Eximbank would be disbursed in tranches with the first disbursement expected to be a quarter of the total project’s cost.
The project is expected to be completed in between 35 and 42 months.
Earlier this month Energy and Power Development Minister Dr Jorum Gumbo confirmed that Sino Hydro had commenced the technical aspects of the project.
“Sino Hydro has commenced on detailed designs and reviews of designs. There is also the issue of transmission and distribution works. Contractor has submitted conceptual designs, revised documents for substations and power line documents.
“Regarding the work site, temporary works for warehouse foundation for Sino Hydro staff dormitories and canteen construction, all these works are estimated to be at about 60 percent complete.
“For the actual power plant, excavations for coal-handling site, boiler house and machinery area, pulling tower and workshop area, ash layering and pipe re-routing are all in progress at about 78 percent. A detailed geo-technical investigations report in preparation for detailed designs has been generated and circulated.
“The final report is to be submitted by Sino Hydro this month,” said the Minister.
Meanwhile, Government is allocating $2 billion annually for infrastructure projects across all sectors of the economy to ensure a pipeline of bankable projects for investors as well as breaching the gap with exists within different sectors.
“Our annual Public Infrastructure Investment Budget remains limited to address the huge infrastructure gap estimated at $2 billion annually. Through the plan, we will invest in project preparatory activities to ensure a robust pipeline of bankable projects for investors, consistent with the Public Investments Management Guidelines,” said Mr Guvamatanga.
Source : The Herald