Hwange extension comes to fruition

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    CHINA Export and Import Bank (China EximBank) will next month avail the first draw-down of the $1,1 billion funding required to kick-start work on Hwange Thermal Power Station extension project.

    The Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) said in a statement that all the conditions precedent for the first draw-down for the expansion project on units 7 and 8 have been met.

    The two units are expected to add 600 megawatts with each producing 300MW, a development that will see Hwange Power Station installed capacity rising to 1 520MW from 920MW.

    ZPC and China’s Sinohydro, which has been contracted to carry out the expansion project, have deposited their equity contributions as part of the requirements of the first draw-down.

    “All the conditions precedent for the first draw-down for the Hwange 7 and 8 expansion project were met. Both Sinohydro and ZPC have deposited their equity contributions as part of requirements for the first draw-down to be availed by China Exim Bank in April 2018,” said the power utility.

    It could not be established by the time of going to print how much would be availed for the project’s first draw-down.

    The ZPC acting managing director Engineer Josh Chirikutsi said he did not have the exact figures off hand. He, however, confirmed that once the first draw-down is availed, the Hwange expansion project would begin.

    “Once the first draw-down is availed likely in April, the project will begin,” said Eng Chirikutsi.

    In January, ZPC announced that it had raised $116 million as equity contribution towards the expansion of Hwange Thermal Power Plant. The country’s power generating company has a contractual obligation of raising $314 million to cover project development costs.

    The $116 million was secured from Standard Bank South Africa ($40 million) and Africa Export and Import Bank $60 million). The outstanding amount will be released as per project requirement.

    ZPC said significant progress has so far been made in the implementation of major capital projects with the most visible one being the Kariba South Extension Project whose units were producing a combined 300MW on the national grid after coming on board last December and this month respectively.

    Meanwhile, ZPC sent out a total of 632,21 gigawatts per hour of energy in January 2018 surpassing its target by 11,12 percent on the back of the successful coming on board of Unit 7 at Kariba Power Station.

    The positive performance was also attributed to the successful return of the Hwange Power Station’s Unit 6 from major overhaul.

    “Significant progress has been made in the implementation of major capital projects. The most visible success was registered at the Kariba South Extension Project whose Unit 7 achieved 150 megawatts in December last year, and was declared commercially viable on January 15, 2018,” he said.

    – Herald

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