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

Construction of the US $14m mini-hydro power plant at Lake Mutirikwi, Masvingo province in Zimbabwe is set to kick off soon. The 5MW project is awaiting independent assessment of the dam wall before actual construction can kicks 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 its 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 US $20m. These power projects represent the Government’s plans to make Zimbabwe a net power exporter by 2024 which is line with Vision 2030.

Dennis Ayemba
Country/ Features Editor, Kenya

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