Potential Zesa investors unveiled

Power utility Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (Zesa ) has short-listed bidders for the expansion of Hwange and Kariba South Power stations in a bid to boost the electrical energy on the national grid.

National power demand is estimated to be 2200megawatts (mw) against available generation of 1200mw and installed capacity that amounts to 1960mw.

Hwange and Kariba power stations are currently using 6 units each and the expansion will see each station adding more two units (7 &8). Additional units at Hwange Power station will have a capacity to generate 600mw (2x300mw) while the two units at Kariba South Power Station combined will have a capacity to generate 300mw (2x150mw).

Twenty-three bidders expressed their interests for the two projects.

But 11 have been short-listed with six vying for the Hwange project while five compete for the Kariba South power station. The bidders are however required to procure the necessary materials and execute the expansion programme for the two stations.

ZPC Managing director, Engineer Noah Gwariro confirmed the developments at Hwange and Kariba power stations.

“Well , we have so far short-listed bidders for the expansion of Hwange and Kariba power stations.

“These bidders have up to June to work on their detailed proposals that should demonstrate their capabilities and competence.

“The proposals should include the funding arrangement , price of the project and should demonstrate technical ability,” said Engineer Gwariro.

The short-listed bidders are all from India , China and South Korea:

For Hwange Power station: China Gezhouba Group Company Ltd, China National Machinery, Export Corporation, Essar Hwange Consortium, Posco Engineering &Consortium Co. Ltd, China National Electric Engineering and Sinohydro Corporation Limited

For Kariba South Power Station : Essar Odebrecht Kariba Consortium, China Gezhouba Group Company Ltd, Cooperativa Moratori & Cementisti CMC de Ravenna, Larsen & T oubro and Sinohydro Corporation Limited.

Unlike previous attempts where Zesa engaged consultant engineers only (Hatch) –they have this time also engaged international lawyers (Norton Rose) and international financial advisors (KPMG) to harness financial resources for the projects.

An increase in generation capacity implies that ZPC will remain a major player in the electricity generation business despite government having licensed six other Independent Power Producers (IPPs) to generate electricity.

The country is currently facing strong power outages as it has not invested in new power plants in the last 25 years. Hwange was the last power station to be built in 1987.

Imports from the region carried the deficit load but a downturn in the economic fortunes in the last few years and a growing demand of power in other regional countries has resulted in imported power supply abnormality.

Since 2007 , the region has experienced much shortfalls because of lack or delays in investment in new power plant or ageing plants.

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