Oliver Kazunga, Senior Business Reporter
TWO Indian companies have pre-qualified for the tendering process that was done in that country to find a suitable contractor to repower the Bulawayo Thermal Power Station, an official has said.
Government secured $87 million lines of credit from India for the rehabilitation of Bulawayo Thermal Power Station in 2016 and the funding has since been reviewed to $110 million.
Speaking during a stakeholder meeting on repowering of the Bulawayo Thermal Power Station at the Zimbabwe Power Company boardroom
last Friday, general manager for plant refurbishments, Engineer Fannie Mavhondo, said:
“With progress regarding the repowering project for Bulawayo Thermal Power Station, the EximBank of India has completed pre-qualification of prospective bidders.
“It is being funded from India, they then select contractors who will be doing the project. So, they select a number of them and that’s the pre-qualification process . . . of which we are advised that two have been prequalified”.
Since funding for Bulawayo Power Station is coming from India, the financier requires that a company from that country leads out in construction of the project.
Rehabilitation of the Bulawayo Power Station among other activities includes replacing old boilers that use outdated technology with state-of-the-art boilers.
Eng Mavhondo said ZPC has now given the two Indian firms the documents that define the scope of the repowering project at Bulawayo Power Station in a request for proposal.
“We need now those bidders to give us a quotation for the work.
“The rough times lines are what we are following and you will see that between April 2020 and March 2022, we should be in implementation,” he said.
The power station, he said, was being repowered because the exercise presents an opportunity for a low hanging fruit compared to the funding required to be a completely new power plant.
Eng Mavhondo said construction of a new power plant would need at least $2,5 million per megawatt.
“For example, we are building new Units 7 and 8 at Hwange for $1,5 billion for the country to get an additional 600MW and that gives us $2,3 million per MW,” he said.
“Even then Units 7 and 8 are next to Units 1-6 at the power plant, so there are benefits of other shared facilities that’s why it’s $2,3 million versus the $$2,5 million.
“When you look at repowering, typically you are looking at $1,3 million per MW and Bulawayo we are saying $110 million for us to get 90MW,” he said.
The lines of credit for Bulawayo Power Station, which will be disbursed through India EximBank, were approved in 2015 during former President Mugabe’s working visit to that country.
Bulawayo Power Station was built in 1947 with an installed capacity of 120MW.
Government has also prioritised the rehabilitation of Harare and Munyati Thermal Power Stations and is in the processing of scouting for potential financiers for the projects. — @okazunga