Financial closure for Hwange Power Station expected to be achieved October
A GOVERNMENT official has revealed that the financial closure for Hwange Thermal Power Station expansion project is expected to be achieved by October this year.
The country’s largest coal-fired power station is currently producing 500 megawatts (MW) of electricity from an installed capacity to produce 920MWon average.
The permanent secretary in the Ministry of Energy and Power Development, Partson Mbiriri, revealed the development to the Financial Gazette last week.
“We are just almost there and we are targeting September or October (to achieve financial closure),” said Mbiriri.
The expansion of Hwange Thermal Power Station, which will be undertaken by a Chinese contractor, Sino Hydro Corporation, will see the power station adding two more units to give a combined generation capacity of 600 MW of electricity to the national grid by 2018.
Funding for the Hwange project was one of the major agreements signed by President Robert Mugabe and Chinese President, Xi Jinping during his State visit to Zimbabwe in December last year.
The total cost for the project is estimated to be US$1,4 billion.
Sino Hydro Corporation has secured funding to the tune of US$1,174 billion from Export-Import (Eximbank) of China for the Hwange project, while the Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) will provide the balance.
The Chinese firm is also expanding Kariba South Hydroelectric Power Station to add 300MW to the national grid.
Work at Kariba is currently about 50 percent complete.
Zimbabwe is experiencing crippling power shortages, with national demand at peak periods estimated at 1 600MW, against available generation of about 1 000MW.
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