Hwange Power Station expansion project, Zimbabwe’s largest power station

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According to Zhemu Soda, energy and power development minister, Zimbabwe is scheduled to commission the first new 300MW generation unit at Hwange Thermal Power Plant this month. The unit would boost the output of the country’s largest thermal power station by a total of 600 megawatts.

Engineers from China and Zimbabwe are completing final testing before commissioning according to Soda.He said that work on the protection system, is now being finalized by the engineers. The protection system would allow the evacuation of electricity from the unit to the grid.

Soda added that the power plant’s testing had been carried out and was successful. All that is left for them to do is test the protection system that allows the delivery of electricity to the transmission system.

The commissioning of the first 300MW generation unit was initially scheduled to take place in December. It is said that the commissioning was postponed due to the Chinese engineers’ delayed arrival. The engineers just came into the country in mid-December, when they were initially expected in November.

The minister added that there was also a delay in their comprehension of all the systems. He also said that they are currently expecting them to conclude the test in the next three weeks. According to him, the plant will be operational by the end of this month.

The unit is projected to have a 300 MW output.

The completion date for unit 8

Additionally, unit 8, which is currently under construction will have a similar capacity. It is expected to be operational by the end of March.

Following the commissioning of the two units, ZESA aims to begin extensive rehabilitation of the power station’s existing units in order to restore their capacity to 930 MW, which is expected to alleviate Zimbabwe’s electricity shortages.

Hwange Power Station expansion project overview

Hwange power station is located at Hwange in the Matabeleland North Province of western Zimbabwe. With an installed capacity of 920 MW, the facility is the biggest power plant in the South African country.

Owned and operated by the national electricity company Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (ZPC) has been operational since 1983.  Hwange power station was built in two stages and consists of 4 units of 120 MW each and 2 units of 220 MW each. Construction of the first stage units began in 1973, which were commissioned from 1983 to 1986, and was followed by second stage units in 1987.

Due to deterioration, the plant was only capable of generating 327MW. This necessitated a rehabilitation and expansion project in a bid to increase the facility’s capacity. The project attained National Project Status in 2011. It is being implemented by ZPC through its special purpose vehicle Hwange Electricity Supply Company (HESCO). The authority is collaborating with the Engineering, Procurement Construction (EPC) contractor, Sinohydro Pvt Limited of China.

The at least US$ 1.5bn expansion project involves the installation of two additional coal-fired units (units 7 and 8) of 300MW capacity each. The main equipment for these units is provided by China’s state-owned electricity equipment manufacturer Dongfang Electric Corporation.

The project is being undertaken concurrently with the upgrading and rehabilitation of the Deka pumping station. The station will supply the water required at HPS for the installation and commissioning of the two new power generation units.

Scheduled for completion in 2022, the Hwange power station expansion project will increase the plant’s capacity to 1,520MW.

Reported earlier 

September 2014

Zimbabwe to expand Hwange Power Station

Major thermal power station in Zimbabwe to be constructed

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 the expansion of Kariba Power Station, whose groundbreaking was done in early September.

According to Energy and Power’s permanent secretary Partson Mbiriri, the Zimbabwe government had come into an agreement to expand the 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 to generate a total of 600 megawatts (MW).

In addition to extending the life of the 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 the 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.

Oct 2016

Major thermal power station in Zimbabwe to be constructed

A coal mining company in the Bulawayo Mining District of Zimbabwe Makomo Resources has obtained a license from the government to construct a 660MW thermal power station in  Zimbabwe,  Hwange area.

Speaking during the company’s 6th-anniversary celebrations Samson Mavhura, MAKOMO Resources General Manager, confirmed that, the company will construct 2×330 units. Construction of the thermal power station in  Zimbabwe is expected to take about 2 years from the start to completion.

According to Mavhura, the company acquired a license from the Government 2 weeks ago. The company is now looking at activating the involved financiers, given that the power project will be constructed at a cost of at least US$2bn.

December 2016

China’s Exim Bank boosts Zimbabwe’s Hwange power project

Refurbishment of Hwange thermal power station unit 6 in Zimbabwe begins

The Zimbabwean government has approved a US $1 billion loan facility from the Asian financial institution, Exim Bank of China, facilitating work to commence on the Hwange Power Project. Minister of finance and economic development, Patrick Chinamasa, confirmed the development last week.

It is stated that the project is one of the numerous mega deals signed between Zimbabwe and China which demonstrates the Asian nation’s dedication to doing business with Harare. The press reported that the permitted loan is estimated to be paid back over a 20-year phase with a grace interlude of seven years at an interest rate of 2% per annum.

The loan has also a commitment fee of 0, 25% per annum on the undrawn amount and a management fee of the same percentage.

Also see: Zimbabwe to expand Hwange Power Station

Hwange Power Project forms part of Zim-Asset

In his presentation before Parliament, Chinamasa said the project was consistent with Zim-Asset, a position that showed that the government attached significance to the development of chief infrastructure in the nation, as well as energy.

The minister said the power project was being executed by Sino-Hydro Corporation Limited of China as the contractor.

“This special purpose vehicle that has been formed for the purposes of supervising the project development will be the Hwange Electricity Supply Company (HESCo). It shall be a partnership company between Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) and Sino-Hydro Corporation,” he clarifies.

The minister further clarified that in terms of an On-Lending Agreement, it is HESCo, that will take responsibility for the settlement of the principal loan and interest from the profits of electricity sales with the project set to be realized over a phase of three and half years.

“The outlay for executing this project is US $1.48 billion of which, US $1.147 billion is the contract price. Of the contract price, 85% amounting to $997.7 million has been secured through the Preferential Buyer Credit Loan Agreement fulfilled with China Exim Bank.

“In turn, China Exim Bank has asked the contractor, Sino-Hydro Corporation, to infuse $176 million representing 15% of the contract price as equity into the project,” Chinamasa said.

February 2017

Zimbabwe Seeks Funding for Hwange Power Expansion Deal

The Ministry of Energy and Power Development of Zimbabwe is seeking US$300 million to reach financial closure for the expansion of the Hwange Power Station before the end of the first quarter.

The project will be undertaken by the Chinese firm, Sinohydro Corporation. The deal which was signed in 2014, has the Zimbabwe Power Station (ZPC), a subsidiary of ZESA Holdings, getting 80% of the funding ($1,17 billion) through concessionary funding from China Exim Bank.

One of the conditions set by the Chinese Bank is for Zimbabwe to provide the balance of about $300 million before the financial closure is reached. Other requirements to be met by the Zimbabwean Government to access the funding include a debt service reserve agreement outlining the operation of the debt service reserve account between the government, Hwange Electricity Supplier Company (HESCO), and China Exim Bank.

This special purpose vehicle was established to build units 7 and 8 at Hwange Power Station. Included in the outline of the agreement is the operation of the Escrow account, the security cession agreement between the government and HESCO transferring the reserve account to China Exim Bank.

There is also a coal supply agreement between HESCO and Makomo Resources and a limestone supply agreement between HESCO and PPC (Zimbabwe) to be met. The ratification of the loan agreement between the government and China Eximbank, by Parliament was done in December 2016.

Jan 2018

ZPC gets US $116m for Hwange Project in Zimbabwe

The Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) has secured US $116m from regional financial institutions to go towards its equity contribution for the expansion of the Hwange Thermal Power Station.

ZPC’s equity contribution was one of the major conditions that were stalling the financial closure of the $ US1.1bn project to be carried out by a Chinese company, Sino hydro. The funding will enable ZPC to add 2x300MW generators, commonly referred to as Hwange 7 and 8 to increase power output from the country’s biggest thermal power plant.

Also read: Morocco awards contract for pumped storage hydroelectric plant

Currently, the power station has an installed capacity of 920 MW. According to ZPC acting managing director Engineer Josh Chirukuutsi, ZPC has fulfilled all the conditions precedent for financial closure. Currently, they are expecting the first draw-down for the loan.

ZPC had initially hoped to seal the funding agreement with Sino Hydro in 2016. However, they missed the timeline due to unfulfilled conditions precedent. The latest development is the first unit of the Kariba South power expansion which is now delivering 150MW onto the national grid.

The remaining unit, with a capacity to churn out another 150MW, will be running by March. The projects are part of the Government’s economic recovery program under the Zim-Asset Infrastructure and Utilities Cluster.

Ongoing preparations

The contractors are already doing preparatory work. Manufacturers in China have already started the manufacturing of equipment needed for the project. All the agreements and documents are in place.

Parliament has ratified the Hwange project loan and a power purchase agreement between Sino Hydro and the Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company is in place.

Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority (ZERA) has approved a tariff of 11c kWh. The projects being carried out will see Zesa cutting on power imports, which are costing the power utility.

Zesa imports power from regional utilities including Hydro Cahorra Bassa and Eskom of South Africa. These imports mainly cover local supply gaps due to limited capacity. Zimbabwe requires an average of 1 400 megawatts against an average generation of 1 000MW.

June 2018

Hwange Suburb to pave way for more units at Hwange power station

The Hwange Power Station is to undergo a capacity extension project undertaken by Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) that will see the addition of two generating units, each producing 300MW, to the already available unit that is operating at just above 550MW.

The company 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 the new power plant. The construction of the houses, according to Eng Chivaura will be complete by mid-2019.

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.

Also read: Lagos to begin Embedded Power project in July 2018

The expansion will, however, affect the Ingagula suburb whose location falls foul of the usual wind direction, leaving the suburb at the risk of dangerous emissions coming from the power generation process.

Power supply guarantee

Besides being a project of national interest that will further guarantee power supply to the country as well as cutting power imports, power generation has been beneficial to Hwange residents.

To date, some parts of Hwange get part of its water supplies from ZPC’s Deka water pipeline, which principally pumps water over a 40-kilometer distance from the Zambezi River to Hwange Power Station for electricity generation.

The power generator’s water contribution to the town is also going to increase after the construction of a second water pipeline that will cater to the power plant’s expansion drive.

Jun 2018

Zimbabwe to Commission the expansion of the Hwange Project

Zimbabwe to Commission the expansion of Hwange Project

Zimbabwe’s President  Emmerson Mnangagwa has commissioned the expansion of the Hwange Thermal Power Station, which will see the construction of two more generating units, 7 and 8, with each generating 300MW of electricity on completion at a cost of US $1.5bn.

According to Zesa Holdings spokesperson Mr. Fullard Gwasira, the Chinese firm, Sino Hydro, will be undertaking the expansion project, set to be complete in 42 months and create about 2 500 jobs.

Also read:Tanzania to construct its first wind farm

Job creation is one of  President Mnangagwa’s aspirations, with trying to improve the living standards of citizens, most of whom are still reeling from over a decade of economic recession under former President Robert Mugabe.

The Hwange Thermal Power Station expansion project comes at a time when Government is luring both local and foreign investors to set up businesses, employ citizens and develop infrastructure and new business requires more power.

Foreign investors

Foreign investors’ appetite for Zimbabwe’s investment opportunities is on the rise after the new administration tweaked the Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Act, which was seen as draconian.

The government has since amended the Act to allow foreign investors to own their projects 100 percent in all sectors apart from diamonds and platinum where the 51 /49 shareholding structure still applies. Total capacity at Kariba South has now increased to 1 050 MW adding a further 300MW to the grid.

Oct 2018

Zimbabwe draws down US $199m for the Hwange Thermal Power Station

Approximately US $199m has been drawn down by Zimbabwe for the expansion of the Hwange Thermal (HPS), Power Station in an effort to increase the generation of local electricity.

Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) public relations executive Ms. Fadzai Chisveto, confirmed the reports and said that the US $199m drawdown was done in May this year.

Sinohydro has since started work on the project with excavation works and construction of foundations for the contractor’s camp, administration offices, electro-mechanical warehouse, batching plant, and plant areas.

Nov 2018

Zimbabwe to receive US $310m for Hwange thermal plant project

The government of Zimbabwe is set to receive US $310m from the government of India for the construction of the Hwange thermal plant. Indian Vice President Venkaiah Naidu, confirmed the reports, during a visit to Zimbabwe and said the funds will aim at enhancing the life cycle of the plant.

Indian Vice President, however, pointed out that Zimbabwe requires a lot of planning and good corporate management to ensure efficient, timely, and cost-effective implementation of the project.

He further added that the Indian government will extend its support to the country’s micro and mini-grid, smart grids, hybrid renewable energy technologies, and two LOC projects.

  February 2019

Extension project for US $2b Hwange Power Station begins

Construction on Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority’s (ZESA’s) Hwange Power Station (HPS) 7 and 8 extension project has commenced.

Engineer Patrick Chivaura, ZESA’s acting Chief Executive confirmed the reports and said that the project which is being carried out by Chinese energy systems giant, Sino Hydro, will add 600MW to the current installed power generation capacity of 920MW.

“All preparations have been completed and actual construction works of the Hwange Power Station are underway,”  said Mr. Chivaura.

Mr. Patrick further affirmed that the project which is expected to take 42 months, will be completed within time and the original budget of US $2bn. The coal-fired expansion project costs US $2bn with a US $1bn contribution from China’s Exim Bank through a loan facility. Eng. Chivaura stated that they have done their first drawn down of the China loan and granted it and are confident that the project will be completed in time and on budget.

Also Read: Tanzania allocates US $8.7m for Lake Ngozi geothermal project

Hwange expansion project

The expansion project is expected to create more than 7 000 jobs directly and indirectly. 100 workers would be recruited on a 36-monthly fixed contract for the extension project. The project also requires engineers in mechanical, electrical, control and instrumentation, quality and risk as well as other administrative jobs that include logistics.

The project will also supply an additional 30% of power generation capacity in the country with a current peak period demand of 1600MW and a supply of 1400MW. The deficit is met through imports from Mozambique and South Africa

Aug 2019

Refurbishment work on Hwange thermal power station unit 5 in Zimbabwe completed

The government of Zimbabwe has announced that refurbishment work on Hwange thermal power station unit 5 has been completed and is set to add an additional 160MW to the national grid.

The Minister of Energy & Power Development, Hon. Fortune Chasi revealed that this has paved the way for unit 6 to be opened up for inspection and fault diagnostics soon. He further pointed out that productive sectors such as mining, manufacturing, and farmers are going to be prioritized in the distribution of power.

“Refurbishment of Unit 6 at HPS is starting in the first week of September and it will unlock an additional 170MW to augment generation. It’s very important for our economy to continue to be operational even under the conditions that we are operating under,” he said.

Also Read: Zimbabwe to receive US $42m to boost electricity

“A lot of farmers are under stress as a result of insufficient power. So ZESA is under instruction to provide as much power to farmers as well as other productive sectors like mining and manufacturing. It is very important for the public to understand that domestic users will experience load shedding in favor of productive sectors,” added Hon. Chasi

October 2019

Refurbishment of Hwange thermal power station unit 6 in Zimbabwe begins

Refurbishment works on Hwange thermal power station unit 6 in Zimbabwe have begun and is estimated to cost US $3.6m.

The national electricity company Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA) revealed the report and said that completion of the works will pave way for the Zimbabwe Power Company to embark on another US $28m major project to extend the lifespan of Unit 3.

The refurbishment exercises come at a time when Hwange Power Station is on course to expand the power plant by constructing Units 7 and 8 with an additional capacity of 600MW.

“There are two approaches on Hwange; the first is to bring back Unit six and the second is to hold out Unit three major overhaul. Unit six is expected to be completed in December,” said Energy and Power Development Deputy Minister, Magna Mudyiwa.

Also Read: Construction of first geothermal power plant at Menengai Crater, Kenya, to begin in December

Nov 2019

Zimbabwe’s 600MW Hwange expansion project is 23% complete

Refurbishment of Hwange thermal power station unit 6 in Zimbabwe begins

Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) has revealed that the Hwange Expansion project is on course with the project currently at 23% complete. The project is expected to be completed by January 2022.

The company announced that despite the challenges being faced, it has been embarking on several efforts to increase power generation. The Hwange Expansion Project is expected to provide the nation with an additional 600MW come January 2022.

ZPC said some of the works being carried out include design reviews, construction of employee accommodation, Units 7 and 8 construction, project site clearance works by ZPC and preliminary transmission works. “ZPC is also focusing on the existing coal plants as a way to augment power generation and the re-powering of Bulawayo Power Station is going to be the first to be executed,” it said.

Also Read: Refurbishment of Hwange thermal power station unit 6 in Zimbabwe begins

December 2019

Hwange Power Station expansion project in Zimbabwe is now at 25%

Expansion works at Hwange Thermal Power Station now stand at 25%, 14 months into the project. According to the Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC), most excavation work has been completed including for the cooling tower, the boiler house, and the chimney. “We have completed all the excavations up to foundation level for Hwange 7 and 8,” the ZPC said.

The power company has confirmed that they are still on schedule to finish the project on time. The whole project will take up to 42 months to complete, but unit 7 is expected to start firing by April 2021 while unit 8 will follow later on.

Also Read: AfDB decides not to fund Kenya’s coal-fired power plant project

March 2020

Renovations at Hwange power station in Zimbabwe stalls

Renovations at the Hwange Thermal Power Station in Zimbabwe have stalled due to travel restrictions on Chinese nationals into the country following the outbreak of the deadly Coronavirus (COVID-19), Zimbabwe’s Energy Minister Fortune Chasi has confirmed.

The Minister revealed that Chinese nationals employed by contractors working on Hwange’s 6, 7, and 8 Units were still holed up in China meaning very little is being done to alleviate the power crisis that has troubled the country since last year.

“Renovations at Hwange are ongoing but they have been affected by the Coronavirus. A significant number of the contractors’ staff is still in China, but we have no doubt that will come to pass and we will cruise at lightning speed towards completion of the project,” said Chasi.

This comes a few weeks after Chinese Ambassador Guo Shaochun pleaded with the Asian economic giant’s businesspeople operating in Zimbabwe to allow their workers to stay in China until the raging virus is contained.

Also Read: New studies to be carried out on the viability of Akiira geothermal project

March 2021

Coal-fired power station project in Hwange, Zimbabwe to feed 25MW into the national grid in 2 months

Refurbishment of Hwange thermal power station unit 6 in Zimbabwe begins

A Coal-fired power station project in Hwange, Zimbabwe is expected to feed 25MW of electricity into the national grid in 2 months. A 13-km power line linking the Zimbabwe Zhongxin Electrical Energy Limited (ZZEE)’s plant and the Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) is being done in readiness to start feeding the initial 25MW into the grid. The power generation will be done under the 50MW Phase 1 of the 320MW project, at an estimated cost of about US $10m.

According to the project’s public relations manager Bob Wang, construction of the power line is 80% complete, only 13 intermediate poles are left. “After this, we will start connecting wires and our target is to complete this within the next month or two. We need a power connection from ZPC to enable us to start trial testing of our plant. We will do this testing exercise for a month to allow adjustment of our equipment and thereafter we can start feeding power to the national grid. We want to start with the first 25MW unit,” he said.

Also Read: Total suspends restart of works at Mozambique LNG project amid attacks

President Emmerson Mnangagwa toured the project in July 2020 where he expressed optimism that Matabeleland North Province was poised to lead in the socio-economic transformation of the country through initiatives such as electricity generation and water projects.

On completion, the power plant will consume 300,000 tons of coal annually. ZZCC has applied to the government for a Coal Special Grant (CSG) in order to enjoy economies of scale once the firm starts producing coal to support its operations.

July 2021

600 MW Hwange expansion project in Zimbabwe at 68% complete

The Hwange expansion project in Zimbabwe is now 68% complete. The Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) revealed that major milestones have been achieved despite setbacks due to the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Despite the setbacks in timelines of the project completion dates due to of Covid-19 Pandemic, we achieved a number of noteworthy milestones. These include completion of the cooling tower shell, installation of the generator stators for Units 7 and 8, tower erection on the transmission and distribution side, and installation of steam turbines.

Upon completion, we shall have self-sufficiency in electricity generation and a reduction in electricity imports. The project will also serve as an enabler for economic growth with 10% of the engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) contract transferred to local resources, transferring the skills of foreign colleagues to local communities, and creating about 5,000 jobs, translating to 1 300 foreigners and 3 600 locals,” said ZPC in a statement.

November 2021

Hwange Expansion project to Add 600MW to grid next year

Zhemu Soda, the Minister of Energy and Power Development, has stated that the Hwange expansion project will be operational by July and September 2022, respectively, adding 600MW to the national grid.

Also Read: Zimbabwe DDF gears for massive projects

Minister Soda stated the expected economic development under the National Development Strategy 1 (NDS1) is founded on relative energy supply improvement, speaking at an event to launch the Old Mutual Solar Plant.

He noted that work is underway to restore Hwange’s other units 1 to 6, which have outlived their useful lives while considering the move away from fossil fuel energy.

The Hwange Expansion project, which Chinese business Sinohydro is carrying out, was supposed to be finished by October this year, but it was delayed due to the Covid-19 outbreak, which caused a shortage of staff on-site due to travel restrictions.

April 2022

Hwange Power Station Expansion Project over 84% complete

The Hwange Power Station Expansion Project is being carried out for the government and Sino Hydro. Engineer Forbes Chanakira, project manager, stated that the project is doing well and will meet deadlines. The overall progress rate is 84.20 %.

Essentially, turbines and generator sets for Unit 7 have been constructed and are awaiting commissioning. The boiler is about 93% complete and the coal stockyard is expected to be operational in May. The boiler’s control system, the Distributed Control System (DCS), has been activated. Hot commissioning, in which coal is used in the boiler to heat steam, is expected to begin by July. It will last until November when the unit will be handed off.

Eng. Chanakira stated that about 810 of the 875 transmission towers built between Hwange and Bulawayo had been placed. On the 368km section between Hwange and Bulawayo, a new 400KV line will be built and run parallel to the current lines.3

The route has been separated into three sections: Bulawayo to Lupane, Lupane to Gwayi, and Gwayi to Hwange, where engineers are working on building towers alongside other construction work.

Additional works 

The towers and the Hwange and Insukamini substations are expected to be finished by next year. Eng Chanakira stated that installing tension/support towers is outstanding work on the power lines.

Work is also being done to relocate the households impacted by the powerline. President Mnangagwa recently authorized the construction of a 42-kilometer Deka water pipeline from the Zambezi River, which would raise water supplies to the power station from 3 500 cubic meters per hour to 6 000 cubic meters per hour.

The 962mm pipe will run parallel to the current 900mm pipe, and the Zimbabwe National Water Authority’s water facility on the river will be renovated. There will be three off-take locations along the way to provide water to communities for agricultural and home consumption.

The Deka pipeline is being built by Afcons Infrastructure Limited and is being funded by a US$48,1 million line of credit from India Exim Bank. According to the President, the pipeline will be finished in time for Unit 7’s commissioning.

Aug 2022

Construction works at Hwange thermal power station well underway

A recent visit to the Hwange thermal power station showed the extensive work being done in the expansion drive, in which the new power units are anticipated to feed into the national grid by November this year.

As the government works to ensure a sufficient supply of power for the country, great strides have been made. In 2018, we saw the official groundbreaking of a significant project that would allow for the expansion of Hwange Units 7 and 8. The President, Emmerson Mnangagwa, officiated the occasion.

At the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, work on the Hwange thermal power station was halted, but it has since been resumed at a full pace.

Hwange thermal power station benefits to the local people

Engineer Lucia Chibanda, who spoke on behalf of the project manager, stated that the thermal power project used locals for tasks ranging from the most basic to the most challenging as they worked with the contractor, Sino hydro.

She stated that the project employed 4,600 people, adding that they also worked with the local chiefs because the majority of the workers were from the area. Chibanda claims that unit 7 will be supplying 300 megawatts to the national grid by November, and that unit 8 will be finished within the next three months.

The project has turned into a multi-national assignment given the size of the scope of work being done, and locals are also participating in it while experts from outside the country are also being engaged.

According to commissioning manager Engineer Justice Makunike, the goal is to build a plant that will operate seamlessly. The generation of young engineers working at the site is both refreshing and exciting.

Given that the nation’s power supply is key to all sectors, if it is expanded, the impacts will cascade to industry. As a result of the Second Republic’s national projects, new job opportunities are being created; one particular project recently employed 3, 000 locals.