Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

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ZESA plans expansion

ZESA plans expansion

Friday, 03 June 2011 11:18

Dumisani Ndlela, Deputy Editor-in-Chief

The Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with South Africa’s Hatch Africa Energy for consultancy services for the expansion of the Kariba and Hwange power plants.

The move is expected to boost electricity generation and supply to the 
domestic grid.

In a statement addressing a number of customer concerns, ZESA said its unit, 
the Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) had signed the MOU with Hatch who would, through their Zimbabwean representative firm, Zimbabwe Africa infrastructure Development Group, carry out an expansion roadmap of the two power stations in three phases beginning later this year.

“That, coupled with new and further long-term expansion projects of Kariba 7 
& 8 and Hwange 7 & 8, Batoka project, among others (will result in) an 
improvement in the capacity of the national grid resulting in the reduction 
of electricity imports as Zimbabwe would almost be self- sufficient in terms 
of availability from local sources,” said ZESA.

The power utility said such a boost in local electricity generation would 
also result in a reduction in load shedding as there would be a narrow gap 
between supply and demand for electricity.

ZESA indicated in the statement that electricity shortages would however 
persist, insisting that only fresh investments in new power plants by 
independent producers or itself would ameliorate the situation.

“If Hwange was to operate at maximum 920 MW and Kariba at 740MW, there would 
still be load shedding as demand peaks at 2200MW,” said ZESA.
Current generation capacity at Hwange Thermal Power Station is at 400MW from 
four units. Kariba has six functional units with a current generation 
capacity of 740MW.
The ZPC has resuscitated all small thermal power stations in an attempt to 
boost electricity generation.

This was after a plan for the transfer of the small power plants around the 
country to private operators failed to generate interest from domestic power 

Under the plan unveiled in August last year, ZESA had invited interested 
major power consumers to take up three of its small thermal power stations 
in Bulawayo, Munyati and Harare for own consumption and disposal of surplus 
generation to its national grid at agreed tariffs.

The Bulawayo plant has an installed capacity    of 90MW and a dependable 
capacity of 85 MW, while the Harare plant has a capacity of 100 MW and a 
dependable capacity of 45 MW. The     Munyati plant has an installed 
capacity of 120      MW and a dependable capacity of 80 MW. The three old 
thermal power plants were to be “refurbished to give a relief to those 
institutions that can absorb power at an average tariff of 13 US cents per 
kwh of this ring fenced and uninterrupted power supply”, ZESA had indicated 
in its invitation for bids.

The power utility had indicated that it would mobilise resources for the 
refurbishment of the thermal power plants and start up costs, but successful 
bidders would be required to enter into a power purchase agreement (PPA) 
with a ZESA subsidiary, the Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and 
Distribution Company (ZETDC) for the purchase of power from the power 

“The average tariff for this power shall be 13 US cents per kwh. Power 
supply delivery point shall be the ZETDC meter terminals,” ZESA said.
The latest ZESA statement did not reveal how much the resuscitated small 
thermal power plants were contributing towards the national grid.


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