Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

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Big boost for Kariba South project

Big boost for Kariba South project

KARIBA south power stationGolden Sibanda Senior Business Reporter —
POWER utility, Zesa Holdings yesterday took delivery of $7 million worth of key hydro power plant electrical equipment from China in a development that will boost efforts to meet its target for 2017.

Zesa said that the equipment forms part of the biggest components required for capacity extension of Kariba South power Station.

The equipment (three giant transformers) will keep Zesa on track to complete the project on target and within budget, with the first of the two units set to feed 150MW to the grid by December 24, 2017.

Spokesperson for the Zesa Holdings, Fullard Gwasira said yesterday the equipment were step-up transformers, which will boost generator power from 14Kv to 300Kv; equal to what Zesa carries on its transmission lines.

He said “during an era when the country is witnessing industrial degeneration, Zesa is actually investing in equipment which will be with us for the next 30 to 50 years”. The project is funded by China Eximbank, for contractor, Sino Hydro.

The arrival of the electrical equipment will further boost Kariba South extension overall project completion rate, which stood at 71 percent as of last week.

The heavy electrical equipment imported from China and delivered through Durban Port in South, was manufactured by TBEA and weighs about 130 tonnes each.

Officials said other such heavy duty electrical equipment will entail the generator stators, expected around mid this year and each weighing over 430 tonnes.

The equipment was procured by Sino Hydro, the Chinese company which won the tender to extend Kariba South plant’s generation capacity at a cost of $533 million. Sino Hydro won the engineering, procurement and construction contract valued $354 million, which adds up to over half a billion dollars due to development costs.

“We have received delivery of the transformers, three of them and each cost $2,3 million with the combined total is about $7 million,” Mr Gwasira said.

“Each one of them weighs about 130 tonnes and they are being transported from Durban to the power station via a road train; the road train, a pull truck and push truck, signifying the huge weight of the equipment.

“What is import to note is that this is part of Zesa’s fulfilment of the Zim-Asset programme, which is being undertaken through the energy and infrastructure cluster.

“It is also important that this is a culmination of the Sino-Zimbabwe mega deals which were signed by President Mugabe during his State visit in 2015,” he said.

“We are very excited by this development, at the moment Kariba Hydro power expansion project is at 71 percent and with the delivery of this equipment, project completion rate will significantly go up,” Mr Gwasira added.

“The giant transformers are part of the core pieces towards the completion of the project and we are confident that we are on course to meet our own deadlines.”

While Zesa managed to eliminate load shedding due to power shortage last year, it has been under immense pressure to import to bridge the supply deficit. Zimbabwe requires about 1 400MW at peak periods, but is able to generate only about 1 000MW due to old state of power plants, equipment and lack of funding for capital projects, which hamstrung investment for nearly 3 decades.


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