The Hwange expansion project in Zimbabwe is now 68% complete. The Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) revealed that that major milestones have been achieved despite setbacks due to the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The US $1.5bn Hwange expansion project, is part of Zimbabwe’s efforts to find sustainable solutions to power shortages that are retarding industrial growth and curtailing economic growth. The power station is the largest coal-fired power generator with production capacity of 920MW. However, due to old age, the plant’s current dependable capacity is around 600MW. Zimbabweans have to endure hours of unloading every day due to the depressed generation capacity and limited ability to import power from regional neighbours.
The expansion works involves addition of two power generating units; unit 7 and 8 to the existing 6 units that were commissioned between 1983 and 1987. The development is being carried out by Chinese firm Sinohydro and the two units are expected to add a combined 600MW to the national grid.
“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 Unit 7 and 8, tower erection on the transmission and distribution side and installation of stream turbines. Upon completion, we shall have self-sufficiency in electricity generation and 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 transfer to local resources, transfer the skills of foreign colleagues to local communities, and create about 5,000 jobs, translating to 1 300 foreigners and 3 600 locals,” said ZPC in a statement