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Heavy rains boost ZPC generation capacity

HARARE  –  The Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) is  targeting to increase electricity output by 15 percent this year, on the  back of improved generating capacity at Kariba hydro power station, an  official has said.

Kariba power station has been operating below capacity over the past  year due to low water levels in the lake.

But due to the heavy rains received in the just ended rain season, ZPC  said generation capacity is set to increase.

“The 2017 production target has been set at 7822.05 Gigawatt hours  (GWh), representing a 15.38 percent increase from the 2016 output of 6779.16 GWh,” ZPC managing director Noah Gwariro said.

A GWh, is a unit of energy representing one billion watt hours and  often used as a measure of the output of large electricity power  stations.

“The increase is attributed to the 50 percent increase in water  allocation at Kariba Power Station to 15 billion cubic meters for the  year 2017.”

He said ZPC had also implemented other strategies at its various power  stations to increase power output.

Meanwhile, Gwariro said notable headway had been registered on power  expansion projects, with progress at Kariba South Extension Project, for  example, standing at about 79 percent.

The project remained on course for commissioning in December 2017.

“Fundraising for the Hwange expansion project is underway, with the  Government of Zimbabwe and ZPC finalizing conditions precedent for the  loan draw-down from China Exim Bank.”

On the Batoka Gorge hydro power project, he said feasibility studies  were still in progress and were scheduled to be completed in July.

Zimbabwe generates below 1 500 megawatts most of the times against  demand of over 2 000 megawatts during peak periods, forcing the country  to supplement internal power generation with imports from regional power  utilities.

The government, through the ZPC, has embarked on several projects to  bridge the power deficit including expanding existing generating plants  and building new ones.

In addition to government efforts, several Independent Power Producers  have been licensed with the projects at different stages of  implementation

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