Latest Developments on Construction of Mutirikwi Mini-Hydro Power Plant in Zimbabwe

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The implementation of the US$ 14M Mutirikwi mini-hydropower plant project, under which a modest 5MW power plant will be constructed at Lake Mutirikwi, has begun.

Reportedly, the largest privately-owned contracting company in Zimbabwe, J.R. Goddard (JRG) Contracting, which was subcontracted to construct the Mutirikwi mini-hydro power plant site access roads by Great Zimbabwe Hydro Power Company, has already started mobilizing its personnel and equipment for the execution of the contract.

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The project’s second phase, which will follow the construction of access roads, will transition to substantial civil works, which will include the construction of a powerhouse and a penstock to transmit water to turn turbines in the former. The last phase will involve the construction of a 25-kilometre evacuation path that will be linked to a Zesa substation.

Mr Hubert Chipfumbu, Great Zim Hydro Projects Coordinator Executive, recently said that his company’s internal and external partners helped the power project attain financial close, allowing construction to begin. The entire Mutirikwi power project will be completed by mid-next year upon which it would be the latest in a string of tiny private stations feeding the national grid.

Mutirikwi mini-hydropower plant to create employment and enhance the availability of clean energy

Mr Chipfumbu stated that his firm is devoted to making a positive difference in the lives of the communities surrounding Lake Mutirikwi, which mostly consists of villages from the Mugabe, Murinye, and Chikwanda communities lands.

He said that his business purposefully chose to draw its pool of inexperienced labour from areas surrounding the dam. Great Zim Hydro has now hired 14 locals, with the number expected to grow as the project takes up and staggers towards completion. The contractor working on the access roads has also hired some locals among the roughly 100 people currently present on site.

Ezra Chadzamira, Minister of State for Masvingo Provincial Affairs and Devolution praised the power production project, calling it one of the province’s “low hanging fruits.” The minister stated that the hydropower project will create employment and enhance the availability of clean energy as the government moves toward the eco-friendly green economy envisioned in Vision 2030.

Reported earlier

Jan 2021

Construction of US $14m Lake Mutirikwi mini-hydropower plant in Zimbabwe set to kick off soon

Construction of the US $14m mini-hydropower plant at Lake Mutirikwi, Masvingo province in Zimbabwe is set to kick off soon. The 5MW project is awaiting an independent assessment of the dam wall before actual construction can kick-off.

Lake Mutirikwi mini-hydro plant

The project promises better times for power supply across Masvingo province as Great Zimbabwe Hydro(GZH) which is developing the project will feed the power into the national grid. According to GZH’s project coordinator Mr Hubert Chipfumbu, Dam assessment experts from South South Africa, Kenya and Sri Lanka are expected in the country next month to look at Lake Mutirikwi so that the power plant investment is guaranteed.

“Our insurers want guarantees on the project, so we are bringing in foreign experts who will look at the dam wall to make sure sure that it is secure enough to house a power plant. Nevertheless, we have completed all the requirements including the environmental impact assessment(EIA) and we are ready to go to the next stage but our major challenge at the moment is the Covid-19 pandemic which has forced the economy into lockdown,” he said.

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Furthermore, GZH plans to build a 22km power line from the power plant to the evacuation point at Lake Mutirikwi where the electricity will be fed into the national grid.

Lake Mutirikwi is Zimbabwe’s second-largest inland water body after Tugwi-Mukosi. The Lake Mutirikwi power plant will be the first out of two plants earmarked for the province in the near future. There are also plans to build a 15MW plant at Tugwi-Mukosi which is expected to cost the US $20m. These power projects represent the Government’s plans to make Zimbabwe a net power exporter by 2024 which is in line with Vision 2030.