PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa is today expected to commission the $533 million Kariba South Hydropower Station expansion project.
Chinese contractor, Sino Hydro Corporation, completed work on the project early this month. Work on the Kariba South Power Station expansion project started on November 10 2014.
The two new generators, unit 7 and 8 will add 300 megawatts to the national grid to add to the 750MW of the original six units.
The Export Import Bank of China provided $319 million towards the project while the balance will be provided by the Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC), a power generation unit of Zesa Holdings.
China Power Company’s vice president, Li Yueping and the Ambassador of the Republic of China to Zimbabwe, Huang Ping, are expected to attend the event.
Kariba Power Station is Zimbabwe’s main source of electricity and the completion of the Kariba South Power Station expansion, which will increase the power station’s generation capacity to 1 050MW, is expected to reduce the power deficit the country is facing.
Zimbabwe is producing about 1 000MW daily against a national demand at peak periods of about 1 600MW. To cover for the shortages, the country is currently importing a combined 350MW from regional suppliers. Zimbabwe imports about 300MW from South Africa power utility Eskom and about 50MW from Hydro Cahorra Bassa (HCB) of Mozambique.
With the completion of the Kariba expansion project, the power utility is expected to save about $78 million annually, according to ZESA estimates, because Kariba Power Station has been producing the cheapest electricity at US$0,02 per kilowatt hour (kWh).
Thermal power stations at Hwange, Bulawayo, Munyati and Harare are producing electricity at between $0,06 and $0,08 kWh.
The country is importing electricity from Eskom at a cost of $0,14 kWh and procuring electricity from HCB at $0,13 kWh. Expensive imports result in higher blended tariff. source: Financial Gazette