Nam, Zim in power deal

 

Harare – Namibian power utility NamPower has expressed interest in rehabilitating Harare and Bulawayo thermal power stations in Zimbabwe at an estimated cost of US$175 million. The interest was expressed through a delegation from Namibia that was in Zimbabwe earlier this year.

“The Harare re-powering project went to tender earlier this year and is currently at the adjudication phase,” Zimbabwe Power Company said in a statement.

“To show their commitment, NamPower has since appointed a consultant to carry out a due diligence study on the project. Should the Government and the Namibian government agree on terms for funding, then an agreement will be signed by end of this year.” NamPower provided a US$40m loan for rehabilitation of Hwange Thermal Power Station in 2007. Under the arrangement, Zimbabwe repaid the loan through power supplies and the debt would be cleared by end of October, said ZPC.

Two weeks ago the MD of ZPC, Noah Gwariro, told journalists during a tour of the Harare Power Station that the rehabilitation would see it doubling its capacity to 120MW while Bulawayo will increase capacity from 30MW to 90MW. The full rehabilitation of Harare and Bulawayo would cost US$85m and US$90m, respectively, Gwariro said.

The project will see the replacement of the current boiler technology with circulating fluidised bed which is more efficient and cost effective. Both projects will take about 24 months to complete. In an update on the power situation in Zimbabwe, Gwariro said the country was experiencing a shortfall of 1 000MW at peak periods.

He said Zimbabwe has reliable capacity of 1 320MW against demand of 2 200MW. The shortfall is covered by power imports – mainly from Mozambique – and load shedding. On expansion projects, the US$400m Kariba Power Station upgrade was on course, he said.

Feasibility studies at Gairezi have been completed and the 30MW project will require at least US$105m to complete. ZPC also intends to extend the lifespan of Hwange Power Station by 30 years at a cost of US$500m. – The Herald

November 2013
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