Another mini-hydro plant for Manicaland next year



NYANGANI Renewable Energy (NRE), an independent power producer (IPP) says it has started construction of its $7 million, 2.72 MW mini hydro plant in Manicaland which is expected to be complete by January 2016.

In an interview, managing director Ian Mckersie said the new mini hydro will add to the existing three stations known as Duru, Nyamhingura and Pungwe Hydro Power plants in the same province.

“We have now started constructing the new mini-hydro power station known as Pungwe C and we hope to commission it by January 2016,”he said.

Mckersie said the project will be completed at a cost of $7 million.

NRE was licensed by the Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority (ZERA) early this year to construct, own, operate and maintain a 2,72 MW mini-hydro power known as Pungwe C Power Plant at Chiteme River in Manicaland Province.

According to ZERA about 18 IPPs have been licensed and to date, seven are now operational producing a total of around 103MW for own use and exportation to the national grid.

Of the 18, 11 are still at various stages of development and are expected to be wholly operational in the next three years. All the licensed IPPs have the capacity to generate about 5 365 MW.

Zimbabwe is currently producing about 1 200 MW against demand of 2 200 MW with the deficit however being complemented through imports.

Energy experts contend that the Southern African region requires massive investments in power sector and more independent power producers (IPPs) to ease electricity challenges currently bedeviling the region’s economic progression.

In Zimbabwe some of these projects include the coal fired China Africa Sunlight Energy operating as Gwayi Power Station (600 MW) based in Matabeleland North Province, hydro powered Manako Power (2, 5 MW) operating in Manicaland Province, Great Zimbabwe Hydro (5 MW) based in Masvingo Province, Geobase Gwanda Solar Plant (250 MW) based in Matabeleland South Province and the thermal Sengwa Power Station (1200MW) based in the Midlands Province among others. -FinX