By Staff Reporter
THE Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA) is set to construct a US$25 million power line for Gokwe meant to benefit some 3 000 households.
The power utility’s systems development manager Engineer Ikhupuleng Dube told stakeholders in Kwekwe recently that the absence of an independent line which connects Gokwe with Kwekwe has led to failure to connect people in the rural areas, lack of electricity and foreign currency amongst other challenges.
“There is a single power line about 700 km which connects the rest of Gokwe from Kwekwe,” said Dube.
He outlined the challenges of having a single line connecting the two Midlands areas.
“We realised that because of this single line, it is affecting the overall electricity network.
“To put that into a context, we are losing electricity along the way from Kwekwe to Gokwe because we are using a single power line, in the process we are losing foreign currency.
“The line above all is not connecting some people who are supposed to be benefitting,” he said.
To solve the problem, Dube said the power utility is going to construct a substation independent from Kwekwe which will be servicing Gokwe.
“Currently, the 700 km power line is carrying 33 000 volts, which is 33 kilovolts carrying 50 megawatts and distributing 10 megawatts for Gokwe which means there is no capacity to connect the rest of Gokwe under that situation,” he said.
The Zesa boss said to address the challenge, the power utility is going to construct a sub-station in Chief Njelele area.
“The main idea of constructing a substation is so that Gokwe will not get electricity from Kwekwe but will be getting power from the substation.
“We want to scale up electricity supply from 33 kv to 122 kv. The new power line will be carrying 150 megawatts.
“This project, if taken from the ground simply means that we will be bringing not only development for Midlands North but also connecting a minimum of 3000 households,” he said.
“We have invested USD $25 million for the project which is set to create employment for locals.”