Zimbabwe will now proceed to expand the coal-fired Hwange Power Station, after the country completed contract negotiations between the country’s national power company (ZPC) and Sino Hydro Corporation from China, for the expansion project. Partson Mbiriri, the permanent secretary in the Ministry of Energy and Power Development has confirmed the completion of initiation of the contracts.
The project is set to start off once The State Procurement Board (SPB) finishes reviewing the initiated contract documents. The expansion was among the projects previously set to start together with expansion of Kariba Power Station, whose ground breaking was done early September.
According to Energy and Power’s permanent secretary Partson Mbiriri they Zimbabwe government had come into an agreement to expand Hwange Power Station expansion and the project is yet to be completed within the set time. Hwange is the largest power plant in Zimbabwe, with a nameplate power capacity of about 750MW but only currently produces about 220 MW.
The government awarded the tender for the expansion of Hwange Thermal Power Station to Sino Hydro Corporation recently, after another company – China Machinery Engineering Company – that had tendered failed to start off the project 14 months after it was awarded the contract.
The bid by Sino Hydro Corporation is valued at US$1.17 billion. China Machinery Engineering Company won the bid at US$ 1.38 billion. This comes at a time when the country is also adding two more power generating units at the Kariba power plant, to enable it generate a total of 600 megawatts (MW).
In addition to extending life of Hwange Thermal power plant, Zimbabwe also wants to repower small thermal plants in Harare, Bulawayo and Munyati. This will help the country cut down on current generation and installed capacity. This will also help the country ease struggle from power shortages in the national power utility.
Repowering of Bulawayo Power Station and Munyatishall be delayed for financial reasons according to Mbiriri. Harare Power 2 tender involving expansion of Harare plant was won by Jaguar Overseas Investments of India in a recent tender process.