Sunday News (Zimbabwe)

Byo Power Station refurbishm­ent to start

- Robin Muchetu Senior Reporter

WORK on the refurbishm­ent of the Bulawayo Power Station will start soon after power generation company Zesa secured $90 million from India for the project, an official has said.

Zesa spokespers­on Mr Fullard Gwasira said the project was urgent since power generation was not taking place at the station.

“We have secured the $90 million from an Indian bank and we will see work being done at the plant very soon. But at the moment there is no power being generated,” he said.

Mr Gwasira, however, said Zesa has been facing challenges in securing coal to use at the power station.

“We are progressin­g well but the challenge is that we are not generating any power at the Bulawayo station because we cannot secure coal efficientl­y from Hwange Colliery. We are having logistical challenges in getting it but as soon as we are able, then power generation will resume,” he said.

He said the company has put in place measures to ensure that despite challenges faced at some generating stations, the country will not experience power cuts.

“As you can see we have not had power cuts for the past one and a half years which means we are ahead in what we are doing. We are managing our power well and we want to do even more for the country as a whole,” he said. e upgrading of the power station is expected to be done over a threeyear period and will breathe life into the facility that was built in 1947 with a 120 mega watt (MW) capacity but had reduced electricit­y generation to a maximum 30MW owing to obsolete equipment.

At least 70 MW are expected to be added to the current capacity at the end of the exercise. The retooling of the Bulawayo Power Station is part of Government’s commitment to improve infrastruc­ture and utilities in the country. Revamping the Bulawayo Power Station will improve the obtaining electricit­y situation and industrial productivi­ty.

Meanwhile, Mr Gwasira said his company has installed 600 000 prepaid meters across the country against a target of 800 000.

He said Zesa was almost complete with the exercise.

“In terms of the next lot we are almost complete, we have done slightly less than 600 000 meters and our target as noted in Zim Asset is 800 000. For this year, the target is to install at least 100 000,” he said.

He said they were left with 60 000 in Bulawayo and 40 000 in Harare.

“Those that are still to get pre-paid meters are what we call load-limiters. Load-limiters are those which were used during the Smith regime. They limit the use of electricit­y, they are the ones which are left and it is because of technical requiremen­t whereby we have to separate wires from poles so that each wire goes to a particular meter,” he said.

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