THE country will be having enough power by 2018, some of which it will be able to export if the current rehabilitation and construction work at its major power generation stations are completed on time, an official said. Zesa is working on the extension of Kariba South, which will add two units of 150MW each at a cost of over $350 million. Kariba Power Station is a hydro-power station with an installed capacity of 750MW, the biggest power plant in Zimbabwe.
Hwange Power Station (HPS) expansion project estimated to cost around $1,5 billion would increase electricity generation by 600MW. Hwange, the country’s oldest coal-powered station is producing about 650 megawatts from an installed capacity of 920MW.
Speaking at a Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce trade and investment dinner in Bulawayo last Thursday, Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company (ZETDC) western area general manager Mr Lovemore Chinaka said the major power infrastructure projects being carried out by Government were going to see the country having surplus power.
He however, said as a result of this development a number of potential Independent Power Producers (IPPs) might be sceptical to invest in infrastructural power development projects in fear of failing to recoup their investments upon the completion of Government’s power projects.
Mr Chinaka said there was also need for Government to negotiate in good faith with IPPs that are coming on board to ensure that these entities sell their power to the country’s utilities at affordable tariffs.
The country’s maximum power demand is 1 950MW but only 1 256MW is being produced, leaving a deficit of 600MW. The deficit is managed through load shedding.
To date Zimbabwe has more than 15 IPPs that have been licensed to own and operate small power stations with the potential of exporting excess electricity to the national grid.
About half of the IPPs are now operational, with others at various stages of implementation.
Prior to the year 2000 the electricity generation was a preserve of the Government through ZPC. The Energy and Power Development Ministry says it would next year craft an IPP Policy to encourage participation of more producers in the sector