By Ishemunyoro Chingwere
The Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) has secured 500 residential stands from Hwange Local Board to construct a new suburb that will accommodate residents from an old suburb that are set to be displaced by a new power plant.
The power utility is set to undertake a capacity extension project at its Hwange Power Station that will see the addition of two generating units, each producing 300 megawatts, to the already available unit that is operating at just above 550MW yet it has a capacity to go beyond 920MW.
Zimbabwe has embarked on power generation expansion to meet the country’s power requirements as well as an anticipated industrial growth under the new political dispensation’s thrust to promote the opening up of the economy and the ease of doing business.
The expansion will, however, affect Ingagula suburb and its approximately 500 households whose location falls foul of the usual wind direction, leaving the suburb at the risk of dangerous emissions coming from the power generation process.
In an interview with The Herald Property Guide, ZPC acting managing director Engineer Patrick Chivaura, said the power company had already secured land for at least 500 residential stands that are now waiting servicing before construction of houses begin.
“There is a plan to relocate Ingagula to Mpumalanga to give way to the smooth implementation of the Hwange power expansion programme,” said Eng Chivaura. “The relocation will target about 500 households and we are hopeful that this will be done in about a year from now.”
“We have already gotten the land from the local board but we still have to service them and then move into construction,” he said.
Besides being a project of national interest that is set to further guarantee power supply to the country as well as cutting on power imports, power generation has been beneficial to Hwange residents whose major economic activities took a big knock due to coal viability problems afflicting Hwange Colliery Company around which the town was built.
To date, some parts of Hwange get part of its water supplies from ZPC’s Deka water pipeline, which principally pumps water on an over 40 kilometre distance from the Zambezi River to Hwange Power Station for electricity generation.
The power generator’s water contribution to the town is also expected to increase after the construction of a second water pipeline that is also aimed at catering for the power plant’s expansion drive.