energy projects developer Intratrek Zimbabwe and its Indian technical partners last Friday signed a contract for construction of the long-awaited 30 megawatt Gairezi Hydro Power Project with Zimbabwe Power Company. The engineering, procurement and construction contract was signed between Intratrek and its Indian technical partners Angelique International, Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited and ZPC for a cost of $128 million.
The State Procurement Board awarded the tender for construction of Gairezi Hydro Power Station to Intratrek and its partners last year, as per the tender requirement that the project be awarded to the lowest bidder to specification.
ZPC managing director Engineer Noah Gwariro said that signing the deal paves way for the contractors to start the process of looking for requisite funding. Gairezi had not materialised since being mooted in 2006 due to funding issues.
Eng Gwariro signed for ZPC, Angelique was represented by its senior vice president Mr Anil K Gupta, while BHEL general manager Mr Shri Vijay Ramacharyulu signed on behalf of the reputable turbine manufacturing giant.
The ZPC board, Eng Gwariro said, had approved the signing of the deal with local energy projects developer Intratrek Zimbabwe, power projects engineering specialist Angelique and renowned turbine manufacturer, BHEL.
Notably, hydro presents an option for the cheapest form of electricity in Zimbabwe and Gairezi, though very small at 30MW, will help dilute the cost of power.
“We also hope that it (the project) will create job opportunities for the people of Gairezi. The board recognises that it is a costly project, to ensure there is no price escalations we are expected to implement it as efficiently as possible.
“Construction of transmission lines and access roads will help in the development of the area. We hope this is the beginning of more works and co-operation between ourselves, Angelique and BHEL,” Mr Gwariro said.
Intratrek managing director Mr Wicknell Chivayo said he was naturally ecstatic after his company posted another historic milestone, saying delivering power was at the core of Intratrek’s passion. He said the people of Gairezi would benefit from the project during and after the construction phases.
The prominent Harare businessman said the Gairezi hydro project would help Zimbabwe, which generates about 1 200MW against demand of 2 200MW, reduce dependence on imports and be a net exporter of power by 2018.
“As Intratrek, naturally, this is part of our journey to become an energy giant and demonstrate our abilities, so it is a challenge that we are looking forward to. “This is a very important project, Manicaland has never had many big infrastructure projects of this nature, so it is important in that respect and for the nation this is an additional 30MW that will be coming on stream.
“We look at the challenge of adding value to Government’s effort under Zim-Asset and generally to improve the power generation capacity of the nation. So we are excited to have been awarded the project,” said Mr Chivayo.
Mr Gupta said that Angelique, a power projects engineering company with annual turnover of over $300 million, was excited about the Gairezi hydro project. Angelique has a presence in more than 29 out 54 African countries.
He said that the Indian company always completes power generation projects that it embarks on adding that there was no doubt about its capacity to deliver. “We are confident that we will be able to complete the project in a time bound manner. It is a pleasure and our privilege to be awarded the Gairezi hydro power project and we assure you that we will fulfil our commitment” he said.
Mr Ramacharyulu said BHEL, with annual turnover of more than $7 billion and presence in over 79 countries in the world and over 20 in Africa, was capable of satisfying Zimbabwe’s hydro power projects needs for Gairezi. BHEL has capacity to manufacture equipment for over 20 000MW per annum.
The signing will see the local private energy projects development company, Intratrek Zimbabwe Limited, approaching four banks including BancABC, Afreximbank and PTA Bank for part of funding needed for the project.
The signing of the Gairezi Project last week brought to an end protracted discussions that started with a competitive bidding process, which eliminated 80 prospective bidders, resulting in the short listing of the final six.
The final six shortlisted to proceed to the second round were Intratrek/BHEL/Angelique, Pito Investments, China Gezhouba/Chongqing Turbines Consortium, Sino Hydro and China State Construction/Dongfang.
In addition to presenting robust technical submissions and proven track record on small hydro projects, tenderers were expected to present credible funding options to convince funding constrained power utility, ZPC.
The selection was a highly contested two-stage tender process and after the first round of adjudication, Intratrek and its partners, China Gezhouba’s consortium and China State Construction/Dongfang were deemed, under SPB’s resolution PBR 0963, to be technically and funding compliant to proceed. After the adjudication, Intratrek and its technical partners came out tops.
The signing of the 30MW Gairezi hydro power station contract is in fulfilment a solemn undertaking by President Mugabe after independence to the people of Gairezi, led by revered late national liberation war hero chief Rekai Tangwena, that a major life changing project would come to their area.