“An application for National Project Status was made and a response is awaited,” said ZETDC in a recent projects update document seen by BH24.
Approval for such status would mean – among other things – that the contractors will be able to bring in the requisite plant and equipment for the project duty-free.
According to ZETDC, due to delays in getting the approval, the $120 million project now has a timeline of 2017-2019.
The Bulawayo Repowering Project entails the replacement of existing boilers with the newer CFBC technology, as well as refurbishment of turbo-alternator plant and “other auxiliaries”.
The project will also include the rehabilitation of Khami Pumping Station and Water Treatment Plant and Construction of a raw water pipeline from Khami Dam to Bulawayo Power Station.
Although the project is still to commence, ZESA chief executive Mr Josh Chifamba told a Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Mines and Energy in December that some key steps in respect of the project were already underway.
“Topographical surveys for the Khami raw water pipeline were completed, and geographical surveys for the power plant and the raw water pipeline are in progress,” he said.
“A water supply agreement was negotiated between Bulawayo City Council and ZPC (Zimbabwe Power Company) and is at signature stage.”
The project is expected to add an additional 90 megawatts (MW) to the Bulawayo Power Station, which will be added onto the national grid to boost power the country’s supply.
Due to depressed generation capacity from all the country’s power stations, the country is producing less than 1 200MW against a national demand of 2 200MW.
If granted the NPS, the Bulawayo Repowering Project would not be the first energy project in the country to receive such a status. In 2015, Government conferred a National Project Status to Swiss based solar solutions firm The Meeco group’s local unit Oursun energy for its 230MW solar project in Mashonaland East. – BH24