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Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) has stated that the work on the expansion of the Kariba South power station is nearing completion
During a tour of the hydro power plant’s US$533mn capacity extension, ZPC projects manager Endmond Mukahadira said that the project was on course to start power generation by December 2017. The overall completion of the project, which involves on site and off site electrical and civil engineering work had now reached 48 per cent completion, with a total of 1,200 local and foreign workers involved, he said.
Chinese company Sino Hydro won the contract to construct the power station at an engineering, procurement and construction cost of US$354mn. The overall project, which started in 2014, had been anticipated to take 14 months for completion, but its first unit is scheduled to go online on 24 December 2017 and the second on 18 March 2018, Mukahadira stated.
Speaking at the site tour, energy and power development secretary Partison Mbiriri, said that demand for power in the country had gone down from an average of 2,200MW in the last few years to 1,000MW-1,600MW.
However, the demand for power still outstrips supply, with the deficit being met through imports from Mozambique and South Africa. The expansion of the 750MW Kariba South power station is expected to add another 300MW to the national grid.
Mbiriri also pointed out that the Kariba South power station, whose capacity was affected by low lake water levels, can maintain its current output to the end of the year as a result of an improvement in Kariba Dam water levels.