Zimbabwe in Hwange power rethink

via Govt in Hwange rethink – DailyNews Live 19 MAY 2014

President Robert Mugabe’s government has reportedly ordered the replacement of China Machinery Engineering Company (CMEC) on the expansion of Hwange Power Station (HPS) in a desperate bid to improve power supplies, it has emerged.

Government is under pressure to improve supplies of power as it is one of the key services needed in turning around the economy.

This comes as the Chinese company has been under pressure to deliver the project — more than a year after it had won the rights to rehabilitate the thermal station — and thus losing bidder Sino Hydro Corporation (SHC) has been slotted in.

While presidential spokesperson George Charamba was unavailable for comment yesterday, Energy minister Dzikamai Mavhaire’s mobile phone also went unanswered.

On the other hand, State Procurement Board executive chairman Charles Kuwaza sidestepped the issue, saying only Noah Gwariro’s Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) could comment.

“We facilitate their work in terms of certain provisions of the Procurement Act,” he said in response to e-mailed questions on the alleged tender rethink.

According to sources, Mugabe has ordered the replacement of CMEC as the $1, 4 billion contract had been dragging on for months on the grounds that the Beijing company had failed to secure funding.

“Since last year, you would know that these guys (CMEC) have been given more time to execute the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract, but nothing has materialised,” said the source.

“In light of that, Cabinet has decided to give the second bidder Sino Hydro a chance because CMEC has virtually failed to act on the project. And typical of these Chinese, they come in and tender (for projects) at lower prices, and then scurry for funding from international sources.

“Regrettably, our government has been giving contracts to people with no capacity at all, hence Mugabe’s alleged intervention is laudable given Zimbabwe’s power challenges,” they added.

Under the project, CMEC was supposed to add two more units to HPS’s six generating units and these would have a combined capacity of 600 megawatts (MW).

Apart from hosting delegations from the Chinese company to discuss issues over a possible extension of the EPC contract, Mavhaire recently hinted that government was going to review the proposed partnership.

“They have not been able to come back to us with a funding plan. We have already made gestures to both of them (CMEC) and the ambassador of China as a diplomatic way,” he told a local weekly recently.

“We have concluded as government of Zimbabwe that CMEC will possibly find it a bit difficult to be able to extend Hwange Power Station,”

Mavhaire said, adding Harare had given CMEC “a deadline” although he could not disclose the date the grace period expires.”

Efforts to secure comment from CMEC officials were unsuccessful, but the project comes as Zimbabwe grapples with acute power shortages.

Currently, the country generates approximately 1 300MW against peak demand of 2 200MW — which shortfall is regularly met through imports from the region.



  • comment-avatar
    moyokumusha 9 years ago

    Looks like even the Chinese are weary of this lot. Maybe they too are seeing that their and ZPF days are up.

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    Exactly, nobody is going to invest a cent in Zimbabwe as long as these clowns are in charge. Hold on a bit longer and try to stock up with supplies as soon all hell will break loose when they can’t pay the police or the army, it won’t be long now as the money has run out and the credit ran out long ago. R.I.P. IDS

    • comment-avatar
      Don Cox 9 years ago

      Hide your food reserves in a safe place where hungry soldiers can’t find them.

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    roving ambassador. 9 years ago

    Zanu must learn that crooks will attract crooks.A pariah state will always be a haven for pirates and hooligans .
    Everything Zanu touches now will turn into dust.
    Chawakadya chamuka.

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    John Thomas 9 years ago

    ZANU will never fix the power problems. It simply will not happen.

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    Makotsi 9 years ago

    Prophets of doom can never wish any good for Zimbabwe. However the good Lord had his own plans and he shall prevail over all evil.

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      Don Cox 9 years ago

      I think His plan is to give humans free will and let them sort out their own problems.

      If He interferes then we no longer have free will.

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    Seems clear the Chinese bribed to get the contract on the presumption The Evil West (those guys that imposed sanctions on Mugabe and Disgrace) would donor fund it. No funding available for jobs not gone to tender, so no progress! Maybe their look East policy should have come up with the East also being a Donor Country and maybe the insulting of the Donor Countries, that have funded Zimbabwe with Billions of dollars over the years, is not clever.

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    How then do you explain the other numerous projects that the Chinese are involved in e.g. Victoria Falls airport expansion, the Harare city council water works,the Gwayi Shangani dam,Kariba south extension etc.The project will take off mark my words and you the sceptics will eat humble pie.

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    Mixed Race 9 years ago

    This is what happens when contracts are given to funny companies.The move by government is over due,this should have been done 6 months ago not after a year.
    At the meantime ZESA could help by cutting the electricity allowances to their workers and pensioners to reasonable levels.I know this because one of their employees tried to sell me his allowance which I refused because in my opinion its corruption.As far as I know an allowance is not a Right but a simple Privilege which cannot be marketed.If its too much it should be returned to the company.He told me that we could go to ZESA Offices to have his allowance transferred to me for $200 since he wants the money for his rentals.When I asked him how can that be done when each cash meter uses a special meter coding,he replied that they can do it,which really breaches private meter security and very dangerous to the customers.@Apolitical,please comment on this because you seem to know about ZESA inner workings and alleged corruption you mentioned before.This incident I have experienced recently makes me now believe in what you stated in your comments.
    I really urge the Minister of Energy to look at ZESA staff allowances closely to save this parastatal millions of dollars per year.When I looked at his work ID he is a junior member of staff with this high allowance,which means the bosses have unlimited electricity usage at the expense of vital industries.

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    Pakukutu 9 years ago

    Rewind to 1997, Mugabe overruled ZESA and awarded a similar contract to a a bogus Malaysian company called YTL. That was the beginning of our power woes