Hwange Thermal Power Station expansion to boost Zimbabwe’s power capacity

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Hwange Thermal Power Station in Zimbabwe is set for expansion to a tune of US$1.5Bn. The said expansion project will see two more generating units being constructed. Unit 7 and 8 are both projected to generate approximately 300MW of electricity upon completion.

Zimbabwe’s President Mnangagwa will be presiding over the ceremony for the expansion  later on this week.

According to Chinese firm Sino Hydro that has been tasked with undertaking the expansion project, the expected date completion is in approximately 4 years. Zesa Holdings, a local company will also be part of the team executing the thermal station’s expansion.

According to the firm’s spokesperson Mr Fullard Gwasira, the completion of the project will see creation of up to 2 500 jobs. Among this, 2200 employees will work at the plant while the other 300 work in transmission and distribution.

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The Hwange Thermal Power Station expansion project comes at a time when Government is luring both local and foreign investors to set up businesses. This is with an aim to create job opportunities as well as development of key infrastructure in the country.

According to media reports, firm investment commitments worth over US $20Bn have been received so far. This is as at December last year. The increased investor interest comes after the government of Zimbabwe amended the Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Act to allow foreign investors to fully own almost all their projects. The funds received are projected to help

The station, which has an installed capacity of 920MW, is currently working well under its potential, generating 310MW as of last week. Moreover, it is also unable to operate flat out at present. This can be attributed to cooling design problems. As such, this, along with maintenance of older boiler generator units should be looked into with the expansion project to ensure smooth operation of the same.