China to bankroll US$1Billion Thermal Power Project for Zimbabwe



Reported by Peter Banda in Harare

9 April 2018 – Harare, Zimbabwe – The Chinese Export-Import Bank (Exim Bank) will extend a loan facility of almost US$1billion to the Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) this year for the expansion of Hwange Power Station.  The scope of the project will involve construction of two additional thermal units at the plant.

Zimbabwe’s Hwange Power Station plant currently generates and supplies about 920 megawatts to the national grid from 6 units. In a recent press statement, Acting Managing Director Joshua Chirikutsi said upon completion, the US$1billion project will see units 7 & 8 adding 600 megawatts to become Zimbabwe’s biggest power plant. Chinese company Sino-Hyrdo will manage construction of the plant.

ZPC, a unit of power utility Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA) and Sino-hydro Corp. will own 64 percent and 36 percent respectively of the proposed Hwange units. The two will provide counterpart funding for the project and construction is scheduled to take 45 months. Zimbabwe’s consumption of power at peak at the moment is about 2,200-megawatt but ZESA can only generate 70% of that while the deficit of electricity requirements is met through imports from neighbouring countries. At peak demand, the nation imports about 350 megawatts a month. The existing 6 units at Hwange have fallen into disrepair. “The project will now commence and we will be drawing down $199 million from Exim Bank this April,” Chirikutsi said.

ZESA recently commissioned the expansion of Kariba hydro-power Station project which is now generating an additional 300 megawatts of power from 750 megawatts. Sino-hydro also constructed the Kariba hydro plant at a cost of US$533 million. Kariba is now producing 1,050 megawatts from 750 megawatts.

Completion of the Kariba and Hwange Power projects will save the country over $70 million annually in power imports. Zimbabwe State President Emmerson Mnangagwa was recently in China during the first week of April 2018 on a state visit where he clinched several investment deals for the country worth over US$4billion including the Hwange Power project.

Project Management Zimbabwe (PMZ – Project Management Institute of Zimbabwe) is Zimbabwe’s largest Association of Project Managers, with a membership base of over 1000. The institute has a mandate of policing the elevation of project management standards nationally through mentorship and membership services programmes.  For information, visit www.pmiz.org.zw or email: [email protected]

Source:  Project Management Zimbabwe