STAFF WRITER 7 March 2018
HARARE – Kariba South Power Station Extension project is finally complete
with government expecting an additional 300 Megawatts (MW) to go online
this weekend, a government official said.
Energy ministry permanent secretary Patson Mbiriri said work on the
project – which was supposed to have been finished in December 2017 – was
“On the 10th of March, we are going to add 300MW to the national grid.
This is a rare fit in the region,” he confirmed to the national
broadcaster, pointing out that the project is presently going through a
week-long trial phase.
The power station saw two additional hydroelectric power generation units
being established on the Zimbabwean side with each contributing 150MW,
increasing the station’s total output to 1 050MW.
This has resulted in power generation capacity at the Kariba Hydro Power
Station increase to 1 050MW.
Last year, the Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) announced plans to start
producing more electricity on the back of improved water levels at Kariba
This comes after the country endured power cuts almost daily in 2015 due
to a devastating drought that saw water levels declining by more than 42
The electricity situation has however, stabilised with the country hardly
experiencing power cuts, save for random fault cuts.
Construction of two new generating units at the country’s biggest power
plant to add the 300MW will come as a relief to Zimbabwe which mostly
imports its power requirement using scarce foreign exchange.
Before completion of the plant, Kariba only produced 520MW out of its
capacity of 750MW.
Peak power demand in Zimbabwe has fallen over the last decade to 1 600MW
from 2 200MW.
Zimbabwe’s economy contracted by nearly half during a 1999-2008 recession,
causing a decline in manufacturing and commercial agriculture production,
sectors that are among the largest consumers of electricity.
According to ZPC officials, Hwange Power Station’s Unit 6 is currently
undergoing a major overhaul exercise which is expected to return to
service in August this year.
Unit 3 major overhaul at Hwange was expedited in the last quarter of 2017
and annual maintenance was also conducted at all stations as per statutory