Zim in China power deal
Harare – The Zimbabwe government expects to seal a deal with a Chinese bank to fund extension of Kariba South Power Station by June, Energy and Power Development Permanent Secretary Pattison Mbiriri has said.
In December 2012, the Zimbabwe Power Company signed a contract with Sino Hydro of China for the Kariba South extension, which will add 300MW to the national grid.
Zimbabwe presently produces approximately 1 200MW against national demand of 1 550MW. The shortfall of 335MW has mainly been met through imports from Hydro Cahorra Bassa in Mozambique.
Mbiriri said, “If all goes according to plan, by June we should be able to reach financial closure with China Export and Import Bank, who are already in the country to do due diligence.
“Signals are that if we agree on one or two issues they will give us US$350 million.”
Zimbabwe Power Company board chairperson Victor Gapare said the extension project would take about 40 months to complete.
“At present, the Sino Hydro team is on site and conducting the topographical and geological surveys so as to come up with the detailed designs for the power station,” Gapare said.
“Needless to say, the greatest challenge facing (us) is the issue of capital; this company has not received any meaningful capital over the last ten years and the capital expenditure which should have been done in all those years cannot be wished away.”
Work is in progress to improve output at four thermal power stations across the country.