via Kariba Dam wall rehab to cost $294,2 million – NewsDay Zimbabwe 17 November 2014 by Kudzai Kuwaza
THE Kariba Dam wall will undergo a $294,2 million rehabilitation programme of the six spill gates and remodelling of the plunge pool beginning next year, a senior government official has said.
Speaking after a tour of Kariba South Power Station on Friday, Energy and Power Development secretary Partson Mbiriri said the plan was to start with the remodelling of the plunge pool within the first half of 2015.
“We would want the plunge pool to start in the first half of next year,” he said.
Mbiriri said the refurbishment of the spill gates would be done one at a time, each taking a year to complete.
With an additional two years to design and manufacture the equipment, he said, the refurbishment is expected to take eight years to complete.
He revealed that the Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority (Zera) would be the borrower for the project.
Mbiriri, who is also chairman of Zera, said the authority had held a meeting with potential financiers of the project on Friday.
The interested parties that met with Zera included the European Union, the World Bank, the African Development Bank and Sweden.
The quartet was represented by officials based in Zimbabwe and others based in Zambia.
He said the remodelling of the pool would cost $125 million, while the remainder of the $294,2 million would be used for the refurbishment of the spill gates.
Mbiriri said the funds would be released to the Zambian Ministry of Finance for onward lending to Zera.
He said the refurbishment was needed to replace the outdated equipment which has been in place since the 1950s.
During the tour of the Kariba South extension, Zimbabwe Power Company maintenance manager Charles Bhebhe said that the governing system of the sixth generator would be replaced on December 8.
The process, he said, would take six weeks to complete at a cost of $900 000. The other five have already been replaced, Bhebhe said.
The Kariba South Extension will add two units of 150 megawatts each.
It will cost over $350 million and would be completed in 2017. Chinese firm, Sino Hydro is doing the expansion works at the hydro power plant.
Currently, there are 318 employees with 83 Chinese and the rest being locals.
At the project’s peak, 700 workers will be employed, consisting 200 Chinese and the remainder locals.