By Alois Vinga
GOVERNMENT has applied for a grant from the Zimbabwe Multi-Donor Trust Fund’s (Zim-Fund)’s $145 million facility and intends to use part of it to finance the rehabilitation of the Hwange Power Plant.
Zim-Fund is a US$145 million Water, Sanitation and Energy program established in 2010 after the 2008 Cholera outbreak in Zimbabwe.
The contributing donors are Australia, Denmark, Germany, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.
Government revealed plans to go after the fund in a procurement notice released recently.
“Government of the Republic of Zimbabwe has applied for a grant from Zim-Fund administered by the African Development Bank towards the cost of the Emergency Power Infrastructure Rehabilitation Project Phase II,” said the statement.
The objective of the project is to improve the provision of adequate and reliable power supply in an environmentally sound manner through the rehabilitation of the Hwange Power Plant (HPP) and the power transmission and distribution facilities in the country.
The envisaged project is situated in Hwange District within Matebeleland Province.
The project will replace and refurbish slurry pumps, ash pumps, sluicing water pumps, booster pumps, sealing water pumps, bilge pumps and overflow sump pumps.
At least 16 sub-transmission level transformers will be procured and the entire works will result the Hwange Power plant capacity increasing from 450 MW to 780 MW.
Hwange, currently the biggest producing power station, is critical to Zimbabwe’s power security given its position as a base load power plant, meaning it is the one that supplies the bulk of power in off peak periods.
Due to the need to conserve water, at a time Lake Kariba levels are low, Kariba mostly comes on line during the peak periods.
Extending Hwange’s generation capacity will bring Zimbabwe close to energy sufficient, at least by current consumption standards; given the additional capacity at Kariba may this year cut imports by half.