About 86% of work on the Kariba South Power expansion project that was first commissioned in 2014 has been completed Sinohydro chief representative in Zimbabwe, Wu Yifeng has said.
Mr Wu says that the first unit is expected to start generating 150MW by December. The second one will feed 150MW into the national grid after commissioning by March next year.
The Completion of this power scheme will see the country make huge savings on power imports. One of the key enablers in the economic recovery drive is uninterrupted power supply.
The first unit is about to be completed. It is expected that it will start generating 150MW in December. The second unit will be commissioned in March 2018. This means that the Kariba South expansion project will have added 300MW to the national grid by March next year.
Zimbabwe needs about 1400 MW for domestic and industrial use against a generating capacity of 900 MW, the remaining balance is left to be covered by imports.
Mr Wu dismissed claims from the media that the African Development Bank had blacklisted Sinohydro from carrying out its sponsored projects. Infact Mr Wu said that there was a meeting between Sinohydro and AfDB, where both parties reached a consensus that Sinohydro would continue to participate in AfDB’s sponsored projects.
There were other claims that Sinohydro charged $533M for the expansion of the Kariba South project compared to what Zambia was charged for the Kariba North expansion. Truth is, the procurement, construction, and engineering contract for Kariba South expansion project is only $355M and not the said $533M.
The difference is brought about by the money that the employer; the Zimbabwe Power Company, spends on securing bank loans and paying consultancy firms. That money has totally nothing to do with Sinohydro.
Zambia project was $278M Zimbabwe’s is $355 million. This is because of the differences of, the date when the contract was signed, construction duration, and scope of works. Mr Wu said.
He also said that Sinohydro was contributing to the development of the Kariba community through its corporate social responsibility activities.
About 1 100 local laborers and technicians are employed and have been trained for the Kariba South expansion project.
When Kariba South expansion project is completed, the annual power generation of the country will be improved by about 25%. This will largely reduce the deficiency in domestic and industrial power use as well as further boost the social and economic development of Zimbabwe.