GOVERNMENT has put two power projects under the supervision of the Office of the President and Cabinet (OPC) with the aim of expediting their implementation.
The expansion project and the proposed repowering project at Harare Power Station are now part of the OPC’s Rapid Results Initiative.
Kariba South Hydroelectric expansion project, which is being undertaken by a Chinese contractor, Sino Hydro Corporation, is now almost 93 percent complete, and is expected to be commissioned next year.
But, the move by government to put the project under OPC is to ensure that the project, which will add two units with a combined generation capacity of 300 megawatts (MW), will add 150MW to the national grid before Christmas this year, and another 150MW by March next year.
The Harare Power Station has failed to come on stream three years after Indian contractor Jaguar Overseas was awarded the engineering, procurement and construction contract.
Jaguar Overseas has been struggling to secure funding for the thermal power plant amounting to about $70 million and government recently raised disquiet and is contemplating cancelling the contract.
“The Kariba South Extension project progress increased from 89 percent at the beginning of the (third) quarter to 92,2 percent by the end of the quarter against a target of 92,7 percent,” the Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) said in its latest performance update released last week.
“The project is now being driven under OPC’s Rapid Results Initiative and the first 100 days under the initiative are running from 28 August 2017 to 5 December 2017.”
ZPC, a power generation unit of , also said: “Fundraising is still in progress for the Harare repowering project. This project is now also under the Rapid Results Initiative.”
Meanwhile, ZPC has disclosed that water levels at Lake Kariba have dropped by 1,2 meters during the third quarter.
“The Kariba lake level dropped from 483,19m at the end of the second quarter to 481,99m at the end of September 2017. This represented a 1,2m drop in lake level over the quarter.
“The lake is currently 46,89 percent full. As of 30th September 2017, ZPC had utilised 11,91 billion cubic metres (bm3) against a target of 11,25 bm3, resulting in a negative variance of 5,88 percent.
“This is attributed to the general shortage of power within the system which saw generation being ramped up at Kariba Power Station to compensate for low generation levels at the thermal stations resulting in the over usage of the allocated water. The allocation for the rest of the year remains at the original 15bm³ equivalent to 380MW according to ZRA,” said ZPC.