China firm awarded Kariba South Hydro Power Station expansion contract
Chinese firm Sino Hydro has been awarded a contract to expand Kariba South Hydro Power Station by 300MW at the cost of US $319m. Work on the power station is expected to begin next month and the ground breaking ceremony for beginning construction works will be on September 4.
Some of the conditions originally set before start of the construction work on Kariba South Hydro power station included the formation of a vehicle responsible for the project, Government contribution of US $17.2m, transfer of the power stations assets, and the signing of power purchase agreement.
The power purchase agreement between Sino Hydro and the Zimbabwean Electricity transmission and Distribution Company served to guarantee a market for power from the power plant.
At the moment, the country is suffering power problems that have led to frequent cuts to domestic users, industries and commercial premises. Major mining companies will, therefore, need to expand their internal power generation to help support different projects.
The major investment into power that the country has ever made was in 1987 after commissioning Hwange’s Thermal Station unit 5 and 6. Sino Hydro also won the contract to expand this power station after another Chinese firm failed to deliver.