Zimbabwean President to Commission Kariba South Power Project’s first unit

Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa is set to commission Kariba South power expansion project’s first unit on 24th December, 2017. The unit will feed 150MW onto the national grid.

The project has been undertaken by Chinese state-owned hydro-power engineering and construction company, Sinohydro. It began in September 2014, as part of Zim-Asset, under the Infrastructure and Utilities Cluster, with the aim of increasing power generation by 300MW. Zesa Holdings chief executive Mr Josh Chifamba yesterday confirmed that the first unit was coming on line next week.

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“There are concerns over the water levels in Lake Kariba. Therefore, we would not get the full benefits of the project until the water level improves,” he said. The second unit will generate another 150MW to be fed into the national grid by end of March next year.
The Kariba South expansion project will ease pressure on the national power utility Zesa. Currently, Zesa is importing about 350MW from Zimbabwe’s neighbours. The completion of the power project will see the country making colossal savings on power imports.
Economic recovery

Constant power supply is one of the key enablers in the economic recovery drive. Sinohydro chief representative in Zimbabwe, Mr Wu Yifeng last year told The Herald that the project was on schedule. He said the first unit will be complete this month, while commissioning of second one will be in March next year. As a result the power project will make an additional 300MW to the national grid on completion. The country needs about 1 400MW for industrial and domestic use. However, it is generating 900MW, with the balance coming from imports.

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