Kariba South power station expansion to be completed December 2017

Kariba Dam Kariba Dam

Kariba South Hydro Power Station project, which is expected to feed 150 megawatts (MW) into the national grid, is expected to be completed by December next year, while several other Zesa Holdings projects are also on course to be finalised.

Zesa Holdings stakeholder relations manager, Fullard Gwasira said talks on the financing of the Hwange extension project and Harare Thermal Power Station were also expected to be completed next month, before commencement of works.

“Repowering works at Bulawayo Thermal Power Station have reached pre-qualification stage, with qualifying bidders having been identified by the India Export Import Bank. Procurement stages are expected to be completed by August 2017, while works on site are expected to commence between the third and fourth quarter of 2017,” he said.

Gwasira said the Kariba South Hydro Power Station was now 62% complete and it was anticipated that the first 150MW would be injected into the national grid December next year.

Map: Kariba dam straddles the Zambian, Zimbabwe border
Map: Kariba dam straddles the Zambian, Zimbabwe border

A further 150MW would be added to the grid by March 2018.

Meanwhile, Zimbabwe owes $30 million in power imports to regional power utilities that supply the country with electricity and this could threaten power supplies, as it will fail to access power from the region.

The power utility owes $23m to South Africa’s Eskom and $7m to Hydro Cahora Bassa of Mozambique, who provide power to the country on power purchase agreement and on a firm basis, respectively.

“The Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company (ZETDC) is getting 50MW firm supplies and ZETDC is taking steps to settle the arrears in order to avert load shedding. ZETDC is aggressively implementing revenue collection strategies in order to pay the debt of about $7m,” Gwasira said.

ZETDC also has an agreement to buy up to 300MW from Eskom.

“We have not been making timeous settlements of the import bill due to lack of access to foreign currency. However, ZETDC is in constant dialogue with the supplier over the matter and have shared with them positive steps that are being taken to settle arrears.”

Failure by the power utility to pay the money that it owes for power imports might result in exports being reduced, as they are being produced with the imported power.

The country has been characterised by a depletion of nostro accounts. It has been difficult for individuals and companies to make foreign payments due to the cash crisis in the banking sector.

Source: NewsDay