Kariba power expansion on course for 2018 target


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Zimbabwe is on course to meet its 2018 deadline for the completion of the Kariba south hydro power plant, with 48 percent of the work already done, an official said today.

The $400 million project to add 300 megawatts to Zimbabwe’s power grid started in 2014 and is under construction by China’s SinoHydro.

The expansion of the Kariba hydro-plant is one of several projects Zimbabwe is pursuing to plug it power deficit.

The country currently generates about half of its 2 000MW peak electricity demand.

Zambia, which shares Lake Kariba with Zimbabwe, completed a similar expansion of its Kariba north plant in 2014.

Officials have said the collapse of Zimbabwe’s mining and manufacturing industries has seen a 40 percent collapse in electricity demand to about 1 400MW currently.

“In terms of overall project progress, combining offsite and onsite civil and electrical works, we are at 48 percent as of May 25,” Kenneth Maswera, general manager of the Kariba South plant, told journalists during a tour of the site.

“We are now moving towards 50 percent. (By the) end of this month, we will be at 50 percent.”

Kariba, completed in 1962 with installed capacity of 750MW, typically generates about 300MW currently due to declining water levels.

Zimbabwe’s other major power plant, the coal-fired Hwange station, whose six units were commissioned between 1983 and 1987, currently produces about 600MW against its installed capacity of 920MW.

Speaking during the Kariba site visit, Energy and Power Development permanent secretary Partson Mbiriri said Zimbabwe was on course to be self reliant in electricity generation by 2018.

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Charles Rukuni
The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.

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