ZESA seeks partners for US$90m project

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THE Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC), a wholly owned subsidiary of Zesa Holdings, has said it is in talks with investors to fund the construction of the Gairezi Mini Hydro-electric power station.
The project, to be located on the Gairezi River in Nyanga in Manicaland Province, will involve the construction of a power station with a projected capacity of 30 megawatts (MW).
It envisages harnessing the hydro-power potential of the river by constructing a diversified dam across Gairezi River. A feasibility study has been concluded and it is projected that about US$90 million will be required to complete the project.
ZPC chairman Victor Gapare told New Ziana Tuesday: “Funding for the project has not yet been secured, but we are engaging potential investors. We will advise when we reach financial closure.”
Sources at the power company say Chinese and Indian firms are being targeted to fund the project.
Once funding is secured, the project is expected to take approximately 36 months to complete the engineering phase, which involves generation specifications, tendering for engineering, procurement and construction contractor and conducting an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA).
Gapare said the EIA for the project was nearing conclusion.
“The EIA is being finalised and the next stage is to carry out a geo-technical survey of the area,” he said.
ZPC has appointed Ascon Africa Environmental Consultants to conduct the EIA.
Gapare said work at the project site was expected to start in 2014.
The country is experiencing huge power deficits which have impacted negatively on industrial performance with the country generating an average of about 1,200 MW out of a national requirement of around 2,200 MW.Advertisement