ZPC to spend $500m on Hwange

The Sunday Mail (Zimbabwe) - - BUSINESS - Golden Sibanda Se­nior Busi­ness Re­porter

THE Zim­babwe Power Com­pany in­tends to spend more than $500 mil­lion re­ha­bil­i­tat­ing Hwange Power Sta­tion units 1 to 5 to guar­an­tee re­li­a­bil­ity and ex­tend its life­span by be­tween 15 to 20 years.

The project forms part of a multi-faceted ap­proach by Pres­i­dent Mnan­gagwa’s Gov­ern­ment to close the gap be­tween cur­rent de­mand and avail­able gen­er­a­tion ca­pac­ity.

Au­thor­i­ties are plan­ning for soar­ing fu­ture de­mand as eco­nomic re­cov­ery be­gins to take root.

Zesa wants to ex­pe­dite the planned project as it fears the units might suf­fer cat­a­strophic fail­ure.

It is be­lieved that the ther­mal power sta­tion will be re­ha­bil­i­tated in­cre­men­tally.

Ul­ti­mately, the power util­ity tar­gets to in­crease its out­put po­ten­tial to 800 megawatts (MW) from the cur­rent 450MW.

HPS has de­sign ca­pac­ity of 920MW but is cur­rently able to gen­er­ate an av­er­age of 450MW-500MW ow­ing to ag­ing equip­ment.

The Sun­day Mail Busi­ness, how­ever, un­der­stands that the paras­tatal has not raised enough funds for the project as yet.

Min­utes of a re­cent board meet­ing gleaned by this pub­li­ca­tion showed that ZPC re­quired about $510 mil­lion for the whole pro­gramme, but only $310 mil­lion has been com­mit­ted by an In­dian bank.

“The board in­quired on the progress on the $310 mil­lion loan from In­dia for the Hwange Power Sta­tion life ex­ten­sion project. Management in re­sponse ad­vised the meet­ing that there were some lim­i­ta­tions as the loan was not ad­e­quate to re­fur­bish all the five units, which re­quired about $510 mil­lion,” reads ex­cerpts of board meet­ing min­utes.

The board has also ex­pressed con­cern that there seemed to be slow progress on the plans to re­ha­bil­i­tate the Hwange Power Sta­tion de­spite the ur­gent need to en­sure the project is car­ried through.

“Management was ad­vised to make sure that they come up with rec­om­men­da­tions that would see the project be­ing un­der­taken in 2019.”

While the un­named In­dian bank has com­mit­ted to fund the re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion project, it is un­der­stood that Zesa has not be­gun the pa­per­work to ac­cess the fa­cil­ity.

The com­pany will also need to come up with an ac­tion plan to mo­bilise a fur­ther $200 mil­lion re­quired to com­plete the re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion ex­er­cise.

ZPC be­lieves that the project will be both cost ef­fec­tive and ef­fi­cient.

Gov­ern­ment is in the process of adding new units - unit 7 and 8 - at HPS, which will add 600MW to the na­tional grid.

Si­no­hy­dro, which re­cently in­creased Kariba Power Sta­tion out­put by 300MW, is un­der­tak­ing the works at HPS.

Kariba, at 1050MW, is now Zim­babwe’s largest power plant fol­low­ing the ca­pac­ity ex­ten­sion pro­gramme com­pleted in March, but its ca­pac­ity will be over­taken by

HPS once the 600MW ex­pan­sion is com­plete.

Wa­ter and Power Con­sul­tancy Ser­vices (Wapcos)’s chief en­gi­neer and project man­ager Mr San­jay Gupta said re­cently the re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion will help min­imise the power plant’s forced power out­ages from the cur­rent 20 per­cent to just 10 per­cent.

Wapcos re­cently con­ducted a de­tailed project re­port on the life ex­ten­sion at HPS.

Zim­babwe, which gen­er­ates about 1 400MW, re­quires at least 1 600MW daily.

The deficit is usu­ally cov­ered through im­ports from Mozam­bique and South Africa. Zim­babwe to­gether with Zam­bia is also jointly de­vel­op­ing the 2 400MW Ba­toka Gorge hy­dro power project.

The ther­mal power sta­tion will be re­ha­bil­i­tated in­cre­men­tally

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Zimbabwe

© PressReader. All rights reserved.