Helcraw secures $120m for plant

Mutare City, where the construction of a peak plant is expected to be complete in 18 months

Mutare City, where the construction of a peak plant is expected to be complete in 18 months

Business Reporter
Local electrical equipment manufacturer, Helcraw Electrical (Pvt) Limited has secured $120 million from the African Import and Export Bank for the construction of an emergency power plant in Mutare.

The electrical equipment firm whose technical partner is Italian company Ansaldo Energia, last year won the tender for the project which is expected to generate 120 megawatts.

Helcraw Electrical managing director Farai Jere yesterday told the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Mines and Energy that the Mutare peak project was ready to take off after securing funding.

“We managed to secure enough funding from AfreximBank for the project and within the next one or two months we will be reaching financial closure. The funding was structured as corporate finance in order to quicken the process.

“Preliminary works have already started on the project and as part of our agreement, the power utility (ZESA Holdings) also has a part to play in terms of arranging and demarcating the land where the plant will be situated,” said Mr Jere.

Mr Jere who is the major shareholder of Helcraw Electrical said the company has since grown to become an EPC contractor from just being an electrical goods trader since inception in 2003.

He said they are on schedule to finish the construction of the Mutare peak plant in 18 months.

Helcraw Electrical’s technical partner, Ansaldo Energia is Italy’s largest supplier, installer and service provider for power generation plants and components and one of the world’s leading players in the sector.

The company has brought machinery and power plants to 90 countries on all five continents confirming that it is an innovative producer and a vital technology partner for emerging economies.

Ansaldo Energia works for governments, public utilities, independent power producers and industrial customer and the company’s commercial proposition involves the use of different, but complementary technologies and sources of energy.

Zimbabwe last year faced acute power shortages which saw Kariba Power Station reducing power generation to an average of 475 megawatts and Hwange producing about 578MW from an installed capacity of 920MW.

Such a scenario forced Government through ZESA Holdings to take a holistic approach towards arresting the problem and this gave room for the setting up of emergence or peak power plants to augment the subdued capacity.

Some of the measures taken included the re-powering of Bulawayo Thermal Station, where Government secured $87 million loan from the Government of India. The project will take 24 months to complete and will add 60MW to the national grid on its completion.

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