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Kariba Power Station expansion underway

Feb 2014

EXPANSION OF the long-awaited Kariba power station in Zimbabwe is now underway after the necessary funding was secured.

“We have secured the funding and the project which should take about three years to complete,” Zimbabwe’s energy utility spokesperson Fullard Gwasira,”

“If everything goes according to schedule, the first unit should be commissioned in 2017,” he said.

The expansion of the Kariba power station will increase generating capacity to 1,050megawatts (MW) from the current 750 MW.

The project is estimated at US$500 million, and will see the installation of an addition two power generating plants of 150MW each.

Currently, the power station has a total of six generating plants that each produces 125MW of electricity.

Zimbabwe secured a loan grant of US$319 million from China Export and Import Bank to finance the power project.

The loan has a two percent interest rate and a five-year grace period and 20-year tenure. Zimbabwe is expected to contribute $35 million to the project to bring the total cost of the project to US$354 million.

Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa hailed the deal saying it will help Zimbabwe address its energy needs.

“This should go a long way in reducing power outages that characterise our power generation. For us the energy deficit has hamstrung the growth of our economy,” he said.

Zimbabwe has a daily energy peak demand of 2,200MW against supply of 1,200MW.

SOUTHERN AFRICA TODAY, February 2014 (Page 8,9) Full PDF  click here