Hwange 7 and 8 on course

The Sunday Mail (Zimbabwe) - - NEWS - Kuda Bwititi Chief Re­porter

THE US$1,2 bil­lion ex­pan­sion of Hwange Ther­mal Power Sta­tion’s units 7 and 8 is mak­ing steady progress, with hun­dreds of main­stream jobs cre­ated so far while close to $150 mil­lion has been in­vested in the first phase of im­ple­men­ta­tion.

At least 3 000 jobs are ex­pected to be cre­ated un­der the pro­ject, which has been iden­ti­fied as one of the key eco­nomic en­ablers as Pres­i­dent Em­mer­son Mnan­gagwa’s ad­min­is­tra­tion ad­vances its vi­sion of turn­ing Zim­babwe into an up­per mid­dle-in­come econ­omy by 2030.

The pro­ject, which will add 600MW to the na­tional grid, will take Zim­babwe closer to its plans of ex­port­ing elec­tric­ity within three years.

Giv­ing an up­date on the pro­ject’s progress to The Sun­day Mail, En­ergy and Power Devel­op­ment Min­is­ter Dr Jo­rum Gumbo said the US$144 mil­lion re­cently availed for the pro­ject had given oomph to the ex­pan­sion plans.

“It is one of the projects that we have placed un­der the Rapid Re­sults Ini­tia­tive. The pro­ject has re­ceived a fa­cil­ity of $144 mil­lion from China Ex­im­bank. The sta­tus is that the work to­wards draw-down modal­i­ties and clear­ance of the con­di­tions prece­dent is in progress.

“On its own Hwange was al­lo­cated an ini­tial $78 mil­lion which will ac­cu­mu­late to $144 mil­lion over three years; the main con­di­tions prece­dent be­ing the sign­ing of the agree­ments by the ring-fenced cus­tomers who form part of the se­cu­ri­ti­sa­tion of the loan.”

Dr Gumbo said China’s gov­ern­ment was fully be­hind the pro­ject, with Si­no­hy­dro the main con­trac­tor and China Ex­im­bank pro­vid­ing the bulk of fund­ing.

The min­is­ter added, “Com­mence­ment on the pro­ject started on Au­gust 1 and the RRI work plan is al­ready done.

“Si­no­hy­dro has com­menced on de­tailed de­signs and re­views of de­signs. There is also the is­sue of trans­mis­sion and dis­tri­bu­tion works. Con­trac­tor has sub­mit­ted con­cep­tual de­signs, re­vised doc­u­ments for sub­sta­tions and power line doc­u­ments.

“Re­gard­ing the work site, tem­po­rary works for ware­house foun­da­tion for Si­no­hy­dro staff dor­mi­to­ries and can­teen con­struc­tion, all these works are es­ti­mated to be at about 60 per­cent com­plete.

“For the ac­tual power plant, ex­ca­va­tions for coal-han­dling site, boiler house and ma­chin­ery area, pulling tower and work­shop area, ash lay­er­ing and pipe rerout­ing are all in progress at about 78 per­cent.

“A de­tailed geo-tech­ni­cal in­ves­ti­ga­tions re­port in prepa­ra­tion for de­tailed de­signs has been gen­er­ated and cir­cu­lated.

‘‘The fi­nal re­port is to be sub­mit­ted by Si­no­hy­dro this month.”

Dr Gumbo said Zim­babwe Power Com­pany of­fi­cials would soon be in China for due dili­gence as­sess­ment of sub­con­trac­tors.

He said Hwange 7 and 8 ex­pan­sion had been ac­corded Na­tional Pro­ject Sta­tus in line with its sig­nif­i­cance to the econ­omy.

Si­no­hy­dro Zim­babwe MD Mr Wu Yifeng said they were sat­is­fied with progress.

“The pro­ject is mak­ing progress on the schedule. China Ex­im­bank has made the first dis­burse­ment with the amount of about $150 mil­lion,” he said

“The con­trac­tor, Si­no­hy­dro, is busy on the pro­cure­ment of main manufacturing equip­ment in China. On the site, Si­no­hy­dro and ZPC en­gi­neers are work­ing hard to close the de­signs and tech­ni­cal spec­i­fi­ca­tions.

“At the same time, a tem­po­rary camp has been con­structed and earth lev­el­ling works is on­go­ing in pre­par­ing for ex­ca­va­tion of plant foun­da­tion.”

Si­no­hy­dro was be­hind the Kariba South Ex­pan­sion that took just 14 months to com­plete, adding 300MW to the na­tional grid.

The Hwange pro­ject was one of sev­eral de­vel­op­ments pri­ori­tised for im­ple­men­ta­tion when Pres­i­dent Mnan­gagwa met China’s Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping in Beijing this year.

Hwange Ther­mal Power Sta­tion con­cep­tual de­sign

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