THE Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) is targeting a 15,38 percent increase in electricity generation to 7 822,05 gigawatts per hour this year compared to 6 779,16GWh produced last year.
Due to subdued domestic generation, Zimbabwe is importing about 300MW power from South Africa’s Eskom to cover the power deficit while discussions are in progress with other regional utilities, Lusemfwa of Zambia and EDM of Mozambique for more imports.
“The 2017 production target has been set at 7822.05GWh from the 2016 output of 6 779,16GWh. The increase is attributed to the 50 percent increase in water allocation at Kariba Power Station to 15 billion cubic metres for the year 2017,” said ZPC.
Last year, the Zambezi River Authority had to ration water allocated to power generation at Kariba Power Station because of the falling water levels at Kariba.
ZPC said to meet the envisaged production targets, the power company was implementing a number of strategies at the power stations.
“Hwange power station’s Unit 6 is undergoing a major overhaul exercise, and is expected to return to service in August this year.
“Unit 3 major overhaul at Hwange will be expedited in the last quarter of 2017. Annual maintenance will also be conducted at all stations as per statutory requirement. We will also continue to engage our suppliers in order to ensure constant supply of our key resources,” said the power utility.
ZPC said the Kariba South Extension Project was 79 percent complete and they were on course for the commissioning of Unit 7 in December.
“Fundraising for the Hwange expansion project is underway, with the Government and ZPC finalising conditions precedent for the loan drawdown from China Exim Bank. The local component of Engineering, Procurement and Construction works were completed for the Deka Pipeline.
Exim Bank of India advised ZPC to retender the works following Government of India guidelines.
“Prequalification documents have already been prepared. Meanwhile, India Exim Bank has appointed Mahindra Consultants to revalidate the costs of the Deka project,” it said.
Several licences have also been issued to independent power producers to complement at least nine projects Zimbabwe Power Company is working on, which will see Zimbabwe achieving excess capacity and exporting to the region from 2018 and beyond.
The $4 billion Batoka Gorge Hydro-Electric Scheme spearheaded by Zimbabwe and Zambia is underway and is viewed as the panacea to power challenges in both countries and the Sadc region at large hence the two governments recently held an investors’ conference in Livingstone, Zambia with potential financiers to mobilise resources.