Works be­gin on Hwange units 7, 8

The Herald (Zimbabwe) - - Business News - Michael Tome Busi­ness Re­porter

HWANGE Power Sta­tion units 7 and 8 ex­pan­sion project, launched by Pres­i­dent Mnan­gagwa at the be­gin­ning of Au­gust this year, has com­menced with a num­ber of civil works now un­der­way.

The project will cost $1,48 bil­lion and is ex­pected to de­liver an ad­di­tional 600 megawatts; 300W from each unit, on top of the av­er­age of 450MW the old power sta­tion is cur­rently able to gen­er­ate.

Hwange power sta­tion has in­stalled power gen­er­a­tion ca­pac­ity of 920MW, but is only able to churn out 450-500MW due to the ad­vanced age sta­tus of the power plant, which was built in the early 80s.

The new project en­com­passes con­struc­tion of a 600MW base-load power plant and high volt­age trans­mis­sion lines span­ning over 350 kilo­me­tres from Hwange to In­sukamini and Mar­vel sub-sta­tions in Bu­l­awayo.

The scheme is one Zim­babwe’s power projects fi­nanced un­der a loan fa­cil­ity from China Ex­port Im­port Bank. State power util­ity Zesa Hold­ings, through its gen­er­a­tion arm, is im­ple­ment­ing the project.

ZESA spokesper­son Fullard Gwasira told The Her­ald Busi­ness that ini­tial con­struc­tion works were al­ready tak­ing shape par­tic­u­larly geo-tech­ni­cal sur­veys and ex­ca­va­tions for the main power is­land build­ings.

“Works in progress in­clude the con­struc­tion of camp­sites, project of­fices, de­tailed geo-tech­ni­cal in­ves­ti­ga­tions, ex­ca­va­tions for boiler and tur­bine house, set­ting out of the trans­mis­sion lines, ex­ca­va­tions for the sub sta­tions and fi­nal­i­sa­tion of de­tailed,” said Mr Gwasira.

As a re­sult of the de­vel­op­ments evac­u­a­tion of fam­i­lies whose places of res­i­dence fall un­der con­struc­tion sites has al­ready started. Con­se­quently, ZESA’s power gen­er­a­tion unit, the Zim­babwe Power Com­pany (ZPC) will re­set­tle the af­fected house­holds es­pe­cially those sit­u­ated along trans­mis­sion lines.

“ZPC is also im­ple­ment­ing the Re­set­tle­ment Ac­tion Plan for all peo­ple af­fected by the new trans­mis­sion lines and we re­cently com­pleted ex­ten­sive con­sul­ta­tions with key stake­hold­ers and af­fected par­ties,” he said.

With a pro­jected du­ra­tion of 42 months from 1 Au­gust this year, the Hwange ex­pan­sion project demon­strates gov­ern­ment’s drive to spur eco­nomic growth through im­ple­men­ta­tion of in­fra­struc­ture projects.

The project will re­sult in mas­sive so­cio-eco­nomic trans­for­ma­tion through in­creased power sup­ply to the min­ing, agri­cul­tural and man­u­fac­tur­ing sec­tors and has to date cre­ated about 260 jobs at the Hwange site while a fur­ther 4 000 peo­ple from sur­round­ing com­mu­ni­ties will get jobs.

Zim­babwe is drain­ing lim­ited for­eign cur­rency re­serves through elec­tric­ity im­ports, hence the need to prop up lo­cal power gen­er­a­tion.

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