THE Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) targets to achieve 30 percent completion of the $1,4 billion Hwange Thermal Power Station expansion project by end of this year.
Expansion works, which have already started at the power station, involve the addition of Units 7 and 8. Upon completion over 42 months, the plant is expected to feed into the national grid an additional 600 megawatts up from the station’s installed capacity of 920MW.
ZPC indicated on its official website yesterday that it will this year strive to implement its strategic plan aligned to Government blueprints and direction to carry out its mandate.
“We shall ensure to successfully achieve 30 percent completion for the Hwange 7 and 8 project in 2019,” said the power company.
“As we begin a new year, it is my hope that we continue to work together on our major projects, and to further improve our operations in order to supply electricity sustainably.”
Energy and Power Development Minister, Dr Joram Gumbo, and his team visited Hwange on Friday to assess progress on the project. ZPC also plans to complete Unit 3 major overhaul at Hwange as well as commencing construction works for the Bulawayo and Harare repowering projects, and Deka upgrading project.
ZPC has said the Hwange extension project, which commenced on August 1, 2018, was making steady progress as the main power building excavation began on December 1, last year.
“The warehouse, fabrication workshop, contractor’s camp, temporary office, batching plant and workshops are currently under construction and are 71 percent to completion,” it said.
“Design review meetings between Sino-Hydro designers and ZPC design team were also held in December and were completed successfully.”
The Hwange expansion is being undertaken by Sinohydro in partnership with ZPC and the two entities have formed the Hwange Electricity Supply Company (Hesco) to run the project.
ZPC and Sino-Hydro are the equity holders in Hesco with 64 percent shares allocated to ZPC and 36 percent to Sino-Hydro based on their financial contributions to the thermal power station’s expansion programme.
Progress towards the implementation of the project quickened after President Mnangagwa’s State visit to China in 2018.
During his visit to the Asian country, the President reached an agreement with President Xi Jinping and elevated the two countries relationships to Comprehensive Strategic Co-operative Partnership.
China and Zimbabwe enjoy cordial relations in the realms of politics and business resulting in co-operation in infrastructure, agriculture, education, health, and other fields.
It is hoped that through the Comprehensive Strategic Cooperative Partnership, China-Zimbabwe ties would definitely yield more mutual benefits.