Africa Moyo Deputy News Editor
The Hwange Thermal Power Station expansion project is now 21 percent complete, with the first unit set to be commissioned by the end of the first quarter next year.
This was said by Finance and Economic Development Minister Professor Mthuli Ncube in a report titled, “Key milestones and progress on policy reforms” released on Sunday.
He said: “Main powerhouse foundation and civil works, transmission lines rout clearance (and) electro-mechanical equipment design” have been done.
Prof Ncube said outstanding works at the Hwange 7 and 8 project included the construction of a warehouse, batching plant, construction chimney and cooling water fore-bay foundation.
The project is one of the many medium-term power generation projects being implemented by Government to increase electricity supply.
Hwange Power Station’s expansion, being undertaken at the cost of US$1,5 billion, will see the addition of two units — 7 and 8 — each generating 300MW.
In a recent interview on the sidelines of the ninth anniversary of coal miner, Makomo Resources in Hwange, Director in the Ministry of Energy and Power Development Engineer Benson Munyaradzi told The Herald that 21 percent of the project had been covered.
“The expansion of Hwange Thermal Power Station is now 21 percent complete and we expect that all things being equal, the first unit should be commissioned in the first quarter of next year,” he said.
The Herald could not visit the site to physically inspect the progress as Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) project manager engineer Edmond Mukahadira said he needed authority from the public relations manager Ms Fadzai Chisveto.
Ms Chisveto could not be reached as her mobile number was not available.
Hwange Power Station presently has an installed capacity of 920MW, but coal shortages and obsolete equipment has seen power generation being depressed.
Yesterday, Hwange was generating 253MW, with Kariba feeding 358MW into the grid, Munyati (17MW), Bulawayo (16MW) and Harare (15MW).
It is expected that once the expansion of Hwange has been concluded, its installed capacity will rise to 1 520MW, and potentially push up power generation.
The importation of an additional 100MW from Mozambique has marginally improved the situation.
Meanwhile, Prof Ncube said there has been movement on the Batoka Gorge Hydro-Electric Project.
The contract has been awarded to a consortium of Power China and United States of America giant, General Electric.
The contractor has since submitted the proposal and negotiation with the consortium are in progress for final agreement. The project is being done by jointly by Zimbabwe and Zambia.
It will see 2 400MW being generated and shared equally between the two countries.