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.
Coal-fired power station project in Hwange
The coal fired power station is being built by a joint venture of Chinese investors and their Zimbabwean counterparts. The coming on stream of the plant will help ease power shortages which have crippled the economy for many years.
ZZEE is a subsidiary of the Zimbabwe ZhongXin Coking Company (ZZCC), a joint venture project between Qualisave Mineral Resources of Zimbabwe and Yuxia ZhongXin Coking Company of China. The company was given a license to be one of the many independent power producers in 2019 and has delivered even ahead of those who were issued licenses before it.
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.