Kariba South Extension project 91% complete

Kariba South Extension project 91% complete
Published: 01 August 2017
ENERGY and Power Development ministry permanent secretary, Partson Mbiriri says the construction of the Kariba South Extension project is now 91% complete, with the first installation of 150MW ready for completion in December.

The $533 million Kariba South extension project, which began in November 2014, will add 300MW to the national grid upon completion in March next year.

"They installed the rotter for the generator, which basically means the work is essentially done for the first part," Mbiriri said.

"Most of the work for the second plant is done.

"Work is at about 91% complete in terms of the project.

"It's a major project. We are keeping a tab on it because it's important that we complete that project."

The permanent secretary said water levels in Kariba had shored up, saying the Kariba hydro plant will be used during peak hours.

"There has been a sentiment expressed by some that because of the water situation, which certainly has come up a good five metres from its lowest point in 2016 there about," Mbiriri explained.

"There are some, who say perhaps the installation of an additional 300 megawatts is not prudent.

"The fact of the matter is that Kariba, as a hydro plant, should ideally be used as a peaking plant, which means during morning and evening peak hours."

He said hydro power was convenient in that it takes less time to generate power than thermal power, which takes a couple of days.

The 300MW will add to the 750 megawatt power plant power station and will bridge the huge power deficit between demand and power supply in the country.

The country is currently importing power from South Africa's Eskom and Mozambique's HCB to cover for the power shortfall.

Zimbabwe is battling to generate 1 400MW required during peak hours and now generates about 1 000MW due to obsolete machinery and lack of investment in the energy sector.

Chinese company, Sino Hydro, won the contract to construct the Kariba South extension power station at an engineering, procurement and construction cost of $354 million, but other expenses such as consultants, equity contribution, interest and statutory costs will see total cost rising to $533 million.
- newsday
Tags: Kariba,


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