The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has signed a 2 000 megawatts Zimbabwe solar power deal, which will help solve Zimbabwe’s power deficit once it sees implementation in 18 months time. The first phase of the project will produce 1 000MW, roughly equating to Kariba South Power Station’s output, when operating at full throttle. The President flew to the UAE for the 5th session of the Global Business Forum on Africa, where he promoted Zimbabwe to potential investors. President Mnangagwa mentioned that power shortages will be a thing of the past in the next one-and-a-half years. He also said that as soon as the first phase has seen completed, construction of another 1 000MW plant will get underway.
Hwange Thermal Power Station
“The power generated is expected to add to that produced by the expansion of Hwange Thermal Power Station units 7 and 8 when completed. This expansion will witness an additional 600MW being injected into the grid on completion and is being undertaken with the assistance of China at a cost of US$1,5 billion. At present, load-shedding of up to 15 hours per day has become the norm, as a result of low water levels in Kariba Dam and delays in the refurbishment of thermal power stations. The Hwange extensions will generate power for 24 hours a day.
Kariba South Power Station
While solar only works in daytime, experts have revealed that Zimbabwe has in Lake Kariba what amounts to the world’s largest storage battery, especially as Kariba South Power Station cannot run flat out 24 hours a day even in good rainfall years. With the installation of the 2000mw solar installations, Kariba South can be switched off during the day, keeping the daytime ration of water to be in a storing state. During the night, the power station can use the whole 24-hour ration of water in just 12 hours, keeping Zimbabwe’s lights on until the sun rises the next morning. President Mnangagwa claimed that the Government had come up with Vision 2030 of an upper-middle-income economy, and appealed to all Zimbabweans to work towards its attainment.