Africa Energy: Zimbabwe’s future power demand presents huge opportunities

Zimbabwe will require 11,000 megawatts of electricity to achieve its vision of becoming a middle income country by 2030, an official said Saturday.

Ministry of Energy official Benson Munyaradzi said the huge demand for power presents vast opportunities for China to further invest in Zimbabwe’s energy sector.

He was speaking at the two-day international conference on China’s Belt and Road Initiative organized by the University of Zimbabwe in conjunction with the Confucius Institute. The conference ends Saturday.

Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa has spelled out the vision as he seeks to propel Zimbabwe’s growth after two decades of economic stagnancy.

The Chinese government is already bankrolling power expansion projects in Zimbabwe.

It completed the 300 MW Kariba South Hydro Power expansion project in March this year at a total cost of 533 million U.S. dollars.

In June, Sinohydro, the same firm that undertook the Kariba project, began the expansion by a further 670 MW of the coal-fired Hwange Power station.

The project will cost 1.5 billion dollars and is expected to be completed in mid 2022.

In total, China’s power expansion projects, when completed, will add 960 MW into Zimbabwe’s national power grid.

Currently, the county is generating 1,200 MW against demand of 1,600 MW.

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