Zinwa evaluates mini  hydro project proposals

Business Reporter
THE Zimbabwe National Water Authority is evaluating 18 proposals submitted by investors interested in partnering the authority in setting up mini hydro plants across the country.

Early this year, Zinwa floated a tender inviting investors interested in joint ventures in mini hydro projects on 18 sites.

In an interview recently, chief executive Jefter Sakupwanya said the response was “remarkable” and the authority was now evaluating the proposals.

“We are looking at combined capacity of about 100 megawatts and combined investment of up $200 million; thus about $2 million per megawatt,” said Mr Sakupwanya.

“We need to utilise our medium to large water bodies across the country to ensure energy security.”

Zinwa is a wholly Government -owned entity tasked with managing the country’s water resources.

It was created through the Zinwa Act as part of the Government’s efforts to reform the country’s water sector.

Some of the sites where Zinwa intend to set up hydro power plants include Tokwe Mukorsi in Masvingo Province, Osborne Dam in Manicaland and Mazvikadei in Mashonaland West.

Zimbabwe is currently able to generate an average of 1 100MW against peak demand for power, depressed due to challenges besetting the economy, of 1 400MW.

Until last year, power utility ZESA Holdings had to rely on rolling power cuts and insufficient imports to manage the power deficit. The power utility concluded agreements with regional power utilities to increase imported power to close the deficit.

However, Zimbabwe which uses a basket of foreign currencies is losing significant amounts of its limited stock of foreign currency to power imports, but a series of public and private led initiatives already underway may see it exporting excess power beyond 2018.

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