ED to commission Kariba South station tomorrow

27 Mar, 2018 - 00:03 0 Views
ED to commission Kariba South station tomorrow Cde Khaya Moyo

The Herald

Sydney Kawadza Chinhoyi Bureau
President Mnangagwa will tomorrow commission two new units (Unit 7 and 8) at Kariba South Power Station, which have added an extra 300 mega watts (MW) to the national grid.

The additional power supplies will help reduce the country’s import bill.

The new units will see the hydro power station producing 1 050MW.

In an interview yesterday, Power and Energy Development Minister Ambassador Simon Khaya Moyo said the new project is part of Government’s effort to increase local electricity power generation.

“As you know, we are not yet self-sufficient in terms of power production and we import electricity from Eskom of South Africa and HCB (Hidro-elecrica de Cahora Bassa) in Mozambique.

“That is, 300MW from Eskom and 50MW from HCB, but it is incumbent on us to produce more power like we are now doing at Kariba South Power Station to reduce our import bill on electricity,” he said.

Minister Khaya Moyo said Government will continue pursuing greenfield and brownfield energy projects.

“We are also looking at the expansion programme at Hwange Thermal Power Station. They have six units there and we are looking at building two more units — Unit 7 and 8 — and that will add about 600MW to the national grid,” he said.

The expansion of Kariba South, which started on November 10, 2014, was completed on March 10 this year.

Unit 7 came on stream on December 22 last year, while Unit 8 started running about a fortnight ago.

Minister Khaya Moyo, however, urged independent power producers to engage Government for possible partnerships in the sector.

“We are also repowering Harare, Bulawayo and Munyati thermal power stations and once all these are up, a large sum of money would be saved from the import bill.

“We will, however, never say we are satisfied as we will continue looking for possible areas of cooperation to set up more power stations across the  country.”

Meanwhile, speaking after touring the power station recently, Finance and Economic Development Minister Patrick Chinamasa said completion of the power project would ease demand of foreign currency on the fiscus.

“As you know, we have some challenges of generating foreign currency and this will help quite much in reducing our import bill and our demand on foreign currency,” he said.

Zimbabwe currently owes Eskom about $60 million.

Minister Chinamasa said Government was also engaging Sinosure — the Chinese institution that insures China’s overseas investments — with a view of unlocking funding for the Hwange expansion project.

“The project is much bigger and will generate 600MW. Financial closure has been concluded. There is just one issue around Sinosure, which I hope to sort out; otherwise, it should be on course,” he said.

Minister Chinamasa recently led a delegation of senior Government official to China to engage Sinosure officials on the impasse.

“As you know, the Chinese, through the China EximBank, only provide 85 percent of the project cost and we have negotiated with Sino Hydro and others to take equity in the project of 15 percent. That also has been concluded and finalised.”

Government, he said, was finalising negotiations with Sinosure.

“They are saying we have accumulated arrears; they are not in a position to ensure Hwange 7 and 8, but these are negotiations, which I am hopeful will be sorted out.

“Once that is done, Hwange 7 and 8 will be off the ground. As far as I am concerned, the outstanding issue with Sinosure is an issue that we are going to overcome given the preliminary discussions that we have had.”

Kariba South Power Station was constructed from 1956 to 1960, with a power generating capacity 666MW.

A further uprating exercise took place between 1997 and 2003, which increased output to 750MW.

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