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ZESA

A clear and present danger of Kariba Dam collapse

A clear and present danger of Kariba Dam collapse

Several decades on, the much heralded Kariba Dam is in big trouble, even facing possible collapse, with potentially catastrophic consequences.

Daily Maverick

The Kariba Dam wall

The Kariba Dam wall

Zambia and Zimbabwe currently derive the bulk of their electricity supplies from hydroelectric dams on the Zambezi and other rivers in the region.

The drought has resulted in prolonged low water levels in the dams, which has resulted in sustained blackouts in Zambia for upwards of eight hours per day in recent times.

Provided the rains return, electricity supplies should normalise. But a far greater potential danger exists.

The region’s largest hydroelectric dam — Kariba — has developed some extremely serious flaws during its 50-plus years of existence and some observers have even suggested that the dam is in grave danger of collapse, with the attendant catastrophic consequences.

Currently at 18% full, Kariba hit a recent low point of around 12% in January 2016.

The Kariba Dam on the Zambezi, between Zambia and Zimbabwe, was designed and constructed just before and after the end of British colonial rule in Africa.

Designed by Coyne et Bellier of France and constructed by Salini Impreglio of Italy in two main phases between 1956 and 1977, the dam was financed by the World Bank.

This was the heyday of the Zambian Copperbelt activities near Ndola in the north of the country and sustained electrical supply was critical to ensuring the smooth operation of the copper industry.

At the time, Kariba was one of the largest hydroelectric power stations in the world in terms of its power output, though today it doesn’t even come close to being in the top 20.

Serious and unexpected flooding in the Zambezi Valley during 1957 and 1958 led the designer and constructors to deviate from the original plan for the dam insofar as they decided to install six sluice gates rather than three, to accommodate hitherto unheard of water levels.

This action may have inadvertently resulted in serious design flaws that only manifested themselves years later.

The scouring action of the spillways has, over time, resulted in a 90-metre deep “plunge pool” being formed in front of the dam wall.

This canyon is now only about 30 metres away from the dam’s foundations and, if left unchecked, threatens to undermine those very foundations.

The erosion problem was first identified as early as 1962, after only three years of operation.

At that time, the plunge pool was around 30m wide, but by the 1980s it had more than doubled in size.

Since the 1990s, only three of the six floodgates have been allowed to be opened at any point in time, thus limiting the scouring impact of the spillway.

This action appears to have resulted in no further erosion of the plunge pool.

Of course, this is a mixed blessing, as it has meant that average water levels in the dam have required to be kept lower than they otherwise would have been, resulting in lower amounts of electricity generating capacity.

A less pressing problem is that the concrete surrounding the floodgates has swelled over the years, inhibiting the ability of the dam to rid itself of excess water during times of flood.

Of course, this is not a problem at all currently, due to the average dam level of the past two years only being 18%.

The World Bank has organised syndicated funding of almost $300 million to rehabilitate the dam.

This would involve reshaping the floor of the plunge pool so that spillway water no longer splashes back towards the dam wall.

It also involves rebuilding the six sluice gates.

The estimated repair time for the reshaping of the plunge pool is three years, with the sluice repairs taking eight years.

Notwithstanding the very low dam level, work can only be carried out during the dry winter season each year and cumulative delays so far have meant that reshaping contracts were only due to be awarded last month and sluice gate contract work only beginning in June 2017.

The World Bank is very confident that Kariba Dam is not in any danger of collapse, a view that is diametrically opposed by the Institute of Risk Management South Africa (IRMSA) and AON South Africa, which issued a report in 2015 written by IRMSA founder member Kay Darbourn that stated that the dam wall would collapse if urgent repair work wasn’t carried out very quickly.

The report contained the extremely chilling line: “If nothing is done, the dam will collapse in three years”.

So which body is correct — the World Bank or IRMSA? Although The World Bank seems very confident that the wall won’t collapse, there have been suggestions that the body has been only too happy for scaremongering reports along the lines of IRMSA’s to circulate, as this has helped speed up the notoriously slow process of syndicating the loans required for rehabilitation.

But if IRMSA is correct, the consequences could be devastating.

A collapsed Kariba Dam would wreak havoc on human and animal life, as the resulting tsunami tore through the Zambezi Valley.

The force of water would be so great that it would likely also destroy Cahora Bassa Dam in Mozambique, about 480km away.

Under such a doomsday scenario, aside from the loss of animal and human life, electricity production in the southern Africa region would be seriously degraded.

Around 40% of Southern Africa’s electrical generating capacity (ex-SA) would be gone and the industries that depend on this power, such as mining, would be crippled.

South Africa currently relies on Cahora Bassa to deliver 1 500 megawatts of clean power a day and if that were to be switched off, rolling power cuts could resume in that country.

Reconstructing both dams would take up to eight years and during that time, the cumulative misery of the hundreds of thousands of displaced people would be incalculable.

Perhaps, the last word on this subject should be left to the late South African prime minister John Vorster; in a completely different context, he is credited with coining the phrase “consequences too ghastly to contemplate”.

If the World Bank is wrong and Kariba does indeed collapse, the consequences really would be too ghastly to contemplate.

ZRA raises water allocation to Kariba Power Station

ZRA raises water allocation to Kariba Power Station
Lake Kariba dam

Lake Kariba dam

Business Reporter—

THE Zambezi River Authority (ZRA) has provisionally increased water allocation to Kariba South Power Station for next year on expectations of normal to above rains during this rain season.The Zimbabwe Power Company, which draws water from Lake Kariba for power production has been provisionally allocated 15 billion cubic metres of water from the current 10 billion cubic metres this year, the management said in a briefing to the board on Monday.

ZPC is a power generating subsidiary of Zesa Holdings and also runs Hwange Thermal Power Station and three small thermal stations (Harare, Munyati and Bulawayo).

This means KSPS, which has the capacity to produce 750MW will produce an average of 285MW.

Currently, the KSPS is producing an average of 590MW because it is budgeting water by switching off some of the units during off peak period and utilising its allocation during peak periods.

“Zambezi River Authority has provisionally allocated KSPS 15 billion cubic meters and production plan for 2017 (was) budgeted along this water allocation,” said the management.

The hydrological trends have shown that water levels at the lake have been declining from the peak level of around 486 metres in 2014 to 482 metres in 2015 and 481 metres last year.

In 1992, during the year of drought, the lake level peaked last 479 metres.

KSPS produces half of Zimbabwe’s power requirements while two units are being added which will generate additional 300MW.

The expansion is now 65 percent complete with the first unit expected to start electricity generation in the next 12 months.

Power utility engages CZI on load shedding

Power utility engages CZI on load shedding
Mr Clifford Sileya

Mr Clifford Sileya

Bianca Mlilo, Business Reporter
THE Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company (ZETDC) has engaged industry to assist the power utility meet its foreign debt payment obligations in order to avoid load shedding.

ZETDC, a subsidiary of Zesa Holdings is responsible for the transmission, distribution and retailing of electricity.

According to a letter written to Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI) members by the CZI chief executive officer Mr Clifford Sileya, ZETDC has already set the terms of the agreement.

“ZETDC has met with CZI over efforts to ensure continued power supply to industry amidst payment challenges being faced. As you may be aware, Zimbabwe is importing a significant amount of its power from South Africa and Mozambique, mainly due to depressed generation from Kariba,” reads part of the letter.

Mr Sileya said there have been challenges in mobilising adequate foreign currency to pay for power imports and ensure continued supply of electricity.

“To avoid losing the power imports, ZETDC has made an appeal to business to assist by entering into arrangement to assist ZESA in meeting its foreign payment obligations in order to avoid a possibility of load shedding.”

The payment terms according to ZETDC include an accrual of 10 percent interest on the prepayment.

The client, which is industry, would also be required to make a foreign currency prepayment to accounts as instructed by the power utility.

“Amount prepaid plus interest to be converted at current tariff to credit energy units. The consumption in excess of the units credited shall be paid by the client to ZETDC at the prevailing tariff.”

“ZETDC shall provide firm and uninterrupted electricity power supply for the duration of this agreement, subject to system faults and emergencies which occur outside of ZETDC’s control,” reads the letter.

Zimbabwe has been importing about $6,6 million worth of electricity from South Africa’s power utility Eskom to bridge the electricity deficit.

The country owes about $10 million to Mozambique’s Hydro Cabora Bassa while the power utility is owed about $1 billion by domestic and industrial consumers.

— @BiancaMlilo

Kariba Dam wall rehabilitation to begin in 2017

Kariba Dam wall rehabilitation to begin in 2017

 
Kariba dam can carry up to 65 billion cubic metres of water.

Kariba dam can carry up to 65 billion cubic metres of water.

 
 
REHABILITATION work on the 55-year-old Kariba Dam is expected to commence  in February 2017, the Financial Gazette’s Companies & Markets (C&M) has learnt.
 

 

Kariba Dam is managed by the Zambezi River Authority (ZRA) on behalf of the governments of Zimbabwe and Zambia and supplies water  for power generation to two hydropower stations with a combined capacity of 1 830 megawatts (MW) of electricity. 
The North bank power station is operated by ZESCO in Zambia and has an installed capacity of I 080 MW. The South bank power station is operated by the Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) in Zimbabwe and currently has an installed capacity   of 750 MW. ZPC is however, expanding the power station to add 300 MW to the national grid.
ZRA chief executive officer, Munyaradzi Munodawafa, confirmed that the rehabilitation of the dam wall, which is estimated to cost about US$294 million, will start in February 2017.
The works, which include the re-shaping of the plunge pool to minimise a scouring of the dam’s foundations and the refurbishment of the spillways and associated infrastructure to improve the dam’s stability and operations, are expected to last six years.
Munodawafa told C&M last week: “Tenders for contractors to carry out works on the plunge pool closed last month. Tenders for the sluice gates were opened this month. Without functional sluices, the reservoir level cannot effectively be maintained.”
The rehabilitation project is part of the critical dam maintenance programme which involves geo-technical investigations in order to verify the geo-mechanical characteristics of the rock mass in terms of fracturing, weathering, alteration, hardness, abrasiveness, strength and deformability.
 The plunge pool, which should act as a shock absorber for the dam wall’s foundations and surrounding river banks, is said to be eroding towards the dam wall with the possibility of undercutting the foundation of the wall.
This could damage or compromise the dam wall which could result in a potentially disastrous event for thousands of people living downstream of the Kariba Dam.
The dam wall had been compromised through many years by an erosion of the plunge pool, with the foundations chipped down to depths of up to 90 metres beyond permissible levels.
The erosion had under-cut and destabilised the wall, putting the entire wall structure at high risk of collapse.
The project is being funded by partners who include the World Bank, the African Development Bank, the European Union and the Swedish government, who are helping the governments of Zimbabwe and Zambia.
ZRA will provide US$19,2 million while AfDB and  the European Union will inject US$75 million and US$100 million respectively into the project.
The WB and Swedish government have also expressed interest to support the project. It is understood that the WB will provide US$75 million while the Swedish government will inject US$20 million.
About US$80 million would be used for reshaping and stabilisation of the plunge pool, with the balance being used to rehabilitate the spillway’s upstream hydro-mechanical facility.
Apart from economic losses arising from the destruction of the hydro-power stations, a collapse of the Kariba Dam wall would generate a regional humanitarian crisis arising from flooding in Zimbabwe, Zambia, Malawi and Mozambique.
The dam which has a height of 128 metres, was designed by French engineer and inventor Andre Coyne and was built between 1956 and 1958 by an Italian consortium, Impresit Group.  

Work on Kariba South Power Station advanced

Work on Kariba South Power Station advanced
Kariba South Power Station

Kariba South Power Station

Business Reporter—

THE expansion of Kariba South Power Station is now 65 percent complete with the first unit expected to start electricity generation in the next 12 months, a senior official has said.Briefing the Zimbabwe Power Company board on the progress of the project in Kariba on Tuesday, plant general manager Mr Kenneth Maswera said about $230 million has so far been spent on the project.

ZPC is a power generating subsidiary of Zesa Holdings and also runs Hwange Thermal Power Station and three small thermal stations (Harare, Munyati and Bulawayo).

The project, expected to add 300 megawatts onto the national grid upon full completion is being implemented by Sino Hydro at a total cost of about $370 million.

“We are on target; the first machine is expected to start operations on December 24 next year,” said Mr Maswera. The completion of Kariba South will raise the plant’s installed capacity to just above 1 000 megawatts. At peak period, Zimbabwe requires 1 400 MW.

The Kariba Power Station has six units currently producing an average of 591 MW against installed capacity of 730 MW due to water rationing by the Zambezi River Authority.

Unit four was closed for annual maintenance while unit five and six are due for maintenance in the next two weeks.

Unit three is already overdue for annual maintenance.

The board later toured the plant and expressed satisfaction on progress of the project.

While the overall project is 65 percent complete, some of the works are 100 percent complete.

“We are very impressed with the work that has been done and we think we are on target,” ZPC board chairman Dr Herbert Murerwa told journalists after the plant tour.

Earlier, the management highlighted some risks facing the project including costs escalation resulting from penalties for delayed PAC payments and cash challenges should the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority garnish Sino Hydro accounts due to none remittances of the Value Added Tax.

Dr Murerwa, however said the issue of outstanding payments were being addressed by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe and Finance Ministry.

“The financing side is something that is ongoing but the contractor is going ahead with the project,” said Dr Murerwa, dispelling fears that the contractor may stop works due to delayed payments.

Turning the socio-economic benefits accrued from the giant project, ZPC paid about $10,2 million its strong 1 200 workforce.

The management said about $60 million has so far been spent on the local market and ZPC has since established Charara Quarry Site and Gache Gache Sand site where the sand for construction work is being extracted.

This has also resulted in the rehabilitation of Charara and Badze road.

Power generation further declines

Power generation further declines
Bulawayo Thermal Power Station

Bulawayo Thermal Power Station

Oliver Kazunga, Senior Business Reporter
ZIMBABWE’S power generation has further declined to 797 megawatts from an average of about 1 200MW.

The country’s power stations, whose equipment has been facing constant breakdowns due to ageing equipment, have in recent years been producing at below capacity.

A few weeks ago, one of the power stations — Hwange Thermal Power plant — was producing about 280 megawatts against an installed capacity of 920MW due to technical faults.

According to the Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC), as of Friday last week, Hwange Thermal Power Station was generating 243MW while Kariba Hydropower Station was producing 500MW against an installed capacity of 750MW.

The other three plants, Harare, Bulawayo and Munyati thermal power stations were producing 36MW, 18MW and 0MW respectively.

Due to subdued generation, domestic and industrial consumers have in the past endured long hours of load shedding.

Against this background, the Government has among other initiatives aimed at boosting power supply, embarked on a programme to upgrade the Hwange Thermal Power plant installing additional units, 7 and 8.

The Kariba South Expansion Project is also underway as part of efforts to boost power generation in the country.

In the 2016 national budget, Finance and Economic Development Minister Patrick Chinamasa said China had committed to provide a $1,2 billion loan for the refurbishment of the Hwange thermal power plant.

The upgrading at Hwange is expected to see 600MW being added to the national grid while the expansion programme at Kariba would see an additional 300MW being generated by the power plant.

Following a $60 million lifeline for Kariba South by China Export and Import Bank recently, the expansion project is expected to produce 150MW by December 2017.

However, last month Zesa announced that progress on the funding agreement for Hwange Power Plant has been stalled by about $7,2 million that Zimbabwe owes a Chinese insurance firm.

The insurance company has insisted that it would not guarantee the loan until the country clears its debt.

The Government through the Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority has since 2010 licensed about 24 Independent Power Producers to invest in power generation and the projects are at different stages of completion.

Zimbabwe is one of the countries in Sadc experiencing a power deficit due to lack of investment in energy projects.

Electricity demand has in recent years continued to outstrip supply due to factors such as increased population growth.

@okazunga

Zesa sets deadline for metre installations

Zesa sets deadline for metre installations

Power utility, Zesa Holdings has set a target to install an initial 4 000 prepaid smart electricity meters in industries, an official has said.While ordinary prepaid meters are like till points, smart meters are more complex in that they have the ability to communicate with the central system at Zesa to report meter by-passes and tempering and low consumption among other things.Zesa chief executive Engineer Josh Chifamba said the power utility is finalising the framework for the installation of smart meters for industries.

“As we speak, we are in the process of adjudicating for smart meters; our target to finish adjudication is on November 30 (tomorrow).

“We have called bidders to demonstrate and we will then report the results to the State Procurement Board,” he said.

Eng Chifamba said Zesa would start by installing 4 000 smart meters in the first phase.

“We are starting with 4 000 smart meters for large power users. So when we did our load focusing looking at the industry which is running; we saw that we cannot go above 4 000 meters.”

He added, “So we are starting with 4 000 meters and when we see that we are getting confidence with the technology, we will deploy more.”

Zesa has said prepaid electricity metering system was the only solution to curb defaulting.

The power utility is owed in excess of $1 billion by defaulters and corporates account for over 60 percent of that total. — New Ziana.

Cable thieves cause Gwanda power outage

Cable thieves cause Gwanda power outage

 

Whinsley Masara, Chronicle Reporter
Most parts of Gwanda District are without electricity following theft of Zesa cables measuring nearly three kilometres valued at $54 000.

On Monday, thieves switched off a power breaker at a substation which supplies most parts of the district and stole the cables.

Zesa western region general manager Mr Lovemore Chinaka said there has been increased vandalism of Zesa installations of late in Gwanda and Filabusi.

“Yes, a lot of vandalism of property has been going on in these areas within the Southern Region. However, for a direct comment on this incident, please send your questions in writing so that we clarify what it is that you want to know,” he said.

The worst affected areas were identified as Vumbachikwe Mine, Bar 20 and Blanket Mine. The situation in the Gwanda CBD is not any better as residents are going for 24 hours without electricity almost on a daily basis.

A source within Zesa, who spoke on condition of anonymity said thieves stole copper cables measuring 900 metres by three strands which add to 2 700 metres, valued at $54 000.

“One of our electricians, Ms Moleen Mundanga (38) an employee of ZETDC said at around 8 PM on Monday she received an anonymous call from a resident who said there was a power cut in Longville Farm.

“She went to the substation which is in that area and discovered that the breaker had been switched off. As she tried to switch on the breaker it kept falling back,” said the source.

On Tuesday, Ms Mundanga and two other ZETDC employees went to Mtshabezi River investigate the cause.

“At the river, they discovered that copper cables measuring 2 700 metres from Mtshabezi River to Bar 20 and Vumbachikwe Mine were missing.

“The matter was reported to police who attended to the scene and discovered that property stolen is worth $54 000. Of late, thieves are on a spree, stealing cables, breakers and even poles.”

A Gwanda Town resident said the thieves are targeting areas where there are commercial farmers who are heavy producers and are likely to be seriously affected by power outages.

“Power outages result in them quickly buying and replacing the cables to continue production,” said the resident.

Matabeleland South police spokesperson Inspector Philisani Ndebele said police were investigating the matter.

“I can confirm we received a report on a matter where Zesa cables worth $54 000 were stolen. No arrests have been made so far but investigations are underway,” he said.

— @winnie_masara

Haemorrhaging ZESA sees loss doubling to US$233 million

Haemorrhaging ZESA sees loss doubling to US$233 million

ZESA HQuarters

Last year ZESA Holdings reported a loss of US$111,4 million.

ZIMBABWE’S power utility ZESA Holdings has incurred a loss of US$140 million in the nine months to September, which is expected to widen to US$233 million by year end,  an official has said.Last year the parastatal reported a loss of US$111,4 million.

“We are actually haemorrhaging as it is. We are selling power at below cost,” said ZESA chief executive Josh  Chifamba on Monday while addressing a parliamentary committee on energy.

“The utility has not been awarded a tariff increase since 2011 and there has been no financial provision for the temporary emergency power plant and this has negatively affected the financial position of the utility.”

Last year, government contracted a local firm — Sakunda Energy — to set up an emergency diesel power generation plant from which ZESA would purchase electricity to augment its own erratic generation capacity.

The emergency plant, located at Dema, generates 100MW, which ZESA takes up at 15 cents per Kilowatt hour.

Parliamentarians who visited the site last week condemned the tariff as expensive compared to imports from South Africa’s Eskom and Mozambique’s Hydro Cahora Basa which come in at an average of  9.42 cents per kilowatt hour.

ZESA subsidiary, ZETDC sales electricity at 9,86 cents per kilowatt hour.

Electricity sales to the domestic market are seen coming at US$727 million in the full year to December against an initial budget projection of US$1,2 billion.

So far only US$549,6 million has been realized from local electricity sales in the nine months to September.

Zimbabwe’s power demand has fallen by nearly 40 percent over the past decade, the result of the decimation of industry over years of economic decline.

In May, Patson Mbiriri, permanent secretary in the Ministry of Energy and Power Development, told mining executives at a Chamber of Mines meeting that the country’s power demand has declined to about 1 400 megawatts, about 37 percent, from about 2,200 megawatts about in 1999.

ZESA, which employs 7 000 workers across its four subsidiaries, says employment costs are expected to take up US$155,4 million for the year compared to US$161,4 million last year. As at September 30, employment costs had taken up US$112,8 million.  
 
Finance charges are seen at $22.5 million against an initial budget of $16 million. Last year finance costs  amounted to US$20,2 million.

ZESA is itself owed more than $1 billion by non-paying consumers of electricity. The Source

Zesa warns of load-shedding as cash squeeze bites

Zesa warns of load-shedding as cash squeeze bites

Zesa Holdings is battling to settle external obligations to foreign energy producers due to a depletion of nostro
accounts, Parliament has been told.

by XOLISANI NCUBE

Giving oral evidence before the Parliamentary Portfolio committee on Mines, Energy and Power Development yesterday, Zesa Holdings chief executive officer, Josh Chifamba said, from the allocations they were receiving from the Reserve Bank, the power utility was failing to pay for imported energy, warning power cuts were imminent.

“It’s a massive challenge that we face. We are in serious arrears on all our accounts that we have with HCB (Mozambique’s Hydro Cahora Bassa) and Eskom of South Africa. We are not getting enough funds from the central bank to settle these amounts. We are getting around $500 000 a week out of a demand of $5 million a week. We are in a really serious situation,” he said.

The Zesa boss said at some point, they had to purchase more than 100 megawatts (MW) of power from the Dema plant after the government failed to pay for imports, which were relatively cheaper than procuring from the Sakunda Holdings venture.

“If things are not sorted, we would want four or five Dema-like projects to meet the demand and this is something we are worried about,” Chifamba said.

Zimbabwe requires more than 1 100MW of electricity and its local supply through Zesa Holdings’ mechanism is below 300MW and gets 100MW from Dema-Sakunda on top of power imports from Mozambique and South Africa.

Chifamba said Zesa owes Sakunda Holdings — the Dema project contractors — $8 million for energy supplied and it is charged on average $7,5 million monthly for the supply.

He said Zimbabwe pays on average $10,5 million monthly to South Africa (Eskom) and $2,6 million to HCB of Mozambique.

Chifamba said the only cheap source of power would be through its own generation, but due to the depleted water levels at Kariba Dam, they have to outsource from private players.

ZESA to raise $314m for Hwange station

ZESA to raise $314m for Hwange station
ZESA Holdings Chief Executive  Josh Chifamba (centre), Zimbabwe Power Company Acting Managing Director Joshua Chirikuutsi (right) and ZETDC managing director Julian Chinembiri before  the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Mines and Energy yesterday

ZESA Holdings Chief Executive Josh Chifamba (centre), Zimbabwe Power Company Acting Managing Director Joshua Chirikuutsi (right) and ZETDC managing director Julian Chinembiri before the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Mines and Energy yesterday

Tinashe Makichi Business Reporter—
ZESA Holdings expects to raise $314 million by end of this year for its equity contribution towards Hwange Power Station capacity expansion to pave way for financial closure for the project. The Hwange Power Station expansion project will add 2×300 megawatts coal fired units to be installed adjacent to the existing 920MW power plant. The $1,5 billion project will also include transmission building of infrastructure to enable power evacuation from the plant while new substations will be constructed at Hwange and Sherwood.

An engineering, procurement and construction contract was signed in 2014 with SinoHydro of China. A $997 million preferential buyer’s credit agreement was signed with China EximBank in December 2015.

ZESA Holdings chief executive Engineer Josh Chifamba told the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Mines and Energy yesterday that ZESA had been negotiating with several financial institutions to raise the equity contribution required for the project to take off.

“We have not yet started on that project because we are still awaiting financial closure and as Zimbabwe Power Company we are supposed to raise $314 million for equity funding, the rest is obviously covered by a loan from China. We believe and we are hopeful that by year-end we should have raised that money. We have had some very encouraging discussions with some banks towards that,” said Eng Chifamba.

Eng Chifamba said works done on the project include topographical surveys, geo-technical surveys and coal analysis to enable designs of the power plant and transmission infrastructure.

Government, through ZESA, is working on increasing domestic power generation to bridge the gap between supply and demand with production at 1 000MW against peak demand of 1 400MW. Eng Chifamba said there are significant challenges in expediting completion of a number of energy projects, especially related to what he termed the “low electricity tariff” the utility is charging consumers.

“The tariffs we are charging are not attractive to investment. At the moment our tariffs are not reflective of the costs we are incurring as a utility and I could say we are supplying electricity at a loss,” he said.

In addition to Hwange, Sino Hydro won the contract for the expansion of Kariba South Power Station to add 300MW to its the current output of 750MW at a cost of $533 million, also funded through a China Eximbank loan.

Eng Chifamba said the Kariba South project is progressing well and currently stands at 62 percent complete.

The first unit of 150MW is scheduled for commissioning in December 2017 while the second unit will come on line by March 2018.

“Civil excavations on the project have been completed for nine audits, underground powerhouse, water intake, transformer platform, emergency gallery, bus bar gallery, head-race tunnels and pen-stocks.

“Installation of a number of electro-mechanical items has been completed. This includes turbine house crane, draft tube elbow and cone, unit 7 stay ring among others,” said Engineer Chifamba.

Other initiatives projects being pursued by Government or private investors to improve the power supply situation in the country include Gairezi Hydro, Deka Pump Upgrade (for supply of water to Hwange Power Station), and re-powering of small thermals in Bulawayo, Munyati and Harare.

Completion of the power projects is expected to plug the power supply energy deficit and ease the rolling power cuts that have weighed down agriculture, manufacturing and mining sectors.

Govt to solve land tenure issues

Govt to solve land tenure issues

Conrad Mwanawashe, Harare Bureau
GOVERNMENT is working on solving land tenure issues for solar farms after it emerged that some investors were being given five-year leases, too short for investors to recoup their investments.

Solar is one of the major renewable sources of energy expected to help ease the power shortages in Zimbabwe.

Zimbabwe requires about 1 400MW, but current generation is around 1 000MW with the balance being accounted for through imports from regional power utilities. Solar is therefore, one of the major sources of energy expected to improve supply of electricity

But the availability, licensing and operations of major solar projects was being compromised by the short leases prospective investors were being given.

Also, the unavailability of long leases was affecting potential investment in some cases.

Having realised this, Government departments are now engaging to find common ground on the solar farms issues.

Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority chief executive Engineer Gloria Magombo told stakeholders at a conference on financing energy that Energy and Power Development Ministry was engaging the Ministry of Lands and Rural Resettlement to find a solution to issues relating to solar farms.

“I know the ministry is working with the Ministry of Lands on the issue of solar farms in terms of how we coordinate. We have been talking about land tenure issues, the actual linking of the licenses which we are issuing to the people want to do solar farms and also the lease agreements on some of the lands,” said Eng Magombo.

“Because there was a mismatch at one time where we were having people who want to do solar farms being given five year leases. But all that is now being coordinated.”

The Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company estimates demand for power to surge to 3 500MW by 2020.

The Ministry of Energy and Power Development says that the energy sector in Zimbabwe presents immense investment opportunities, be it in power development, petroleum supply or in the renewable energy sub sectors.

It says that Zimbabwe has high solar irradiation averaging 200 Megajoules per square metre. Solar energy can be harnessed for pumping drinking water for rural communities, electricity production ,powering lights and appliances at rural institutions (schools and clinics),and water heating in urban areas.

Kariba South power station expansion to be completed December 2017

Kariba South power station expansion to be completed December 2017

Kariba South Hydro Power Station project, which is expected to feed 150 megawatts (MW) into the national grid, is expected to be completed by December next year, while several other Zesa Holdings projects are also on course to be finalised.

BY VICTORIA MTOMBA

Zesa Holdings stakeholder relations manager, Fullard Gwasira said talks on the financing of the Hwange extension project and Harare Thermal Power Station were also expected to be completed next month, before commencement of works.

“Repowering works at Bulawayo Thermal Power Station have reached pre-qualification stage, with qualifying bidders having been identified by the India Export Import Bank. Procurement stages are expected to be completed by August 2017, while works on site are expected to commence between the third and fourth quarter of 2017,” he said.

Gwasira said the Kariba South Hydro Power Station was now 62% complete and it was anticipated that the first 150MW would be injected into the national grid December next year.

A further 150MW would be added to the grid by March 2018.

Meanwhile, Zimbabwe owes $30 million in power imports to regional power utilities that supply the country with electricity and this could threaten power supplies, as it will fail to access power from the region.

The power utility owes $23m to South Africa’s Eskom and $7m to Hydro Cahora Bassa of Mozambique, who provide power to the country on power purchase agreement and on a firm basis, respectively.

“The Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company (ZETDC) is getting 50MW firm supplies and ZETDC is taking steps to settle the arrears in order to avert load shedding. ZETDC is aggressively implementing revenue collection strategies in order to pay the debt of about $7m,” Gwasira said.

ZETDC also has an agreement to buy up to 300MW from Eskom.

“We have not been making timeous settlements of the import bill due to lack of access to foreign currency. However, ZETDC is in constant dialogue with the supplier over the matter and have shared with them positive steps that are being taken to settle arrears.”

Failure by the power utility to pay the money that it owes for power imports might result in exports being reduced, as they are being produced with the imported power.

The country has been characterised by a depletion of nostro accounts. It has been difficult for individuals and companies to make foreign payments due to the cash crisis in the banking sector.

Hwange power station generation declines

Hwange power station generation declines
Hwange thermal power station

Hwange thermal power station

Oliver Kazunga, Senior Business Reporter
POWER generation capacity at Hwange Thermal Power Station has dropped to about 280 megawatts against an installed capacity of 920MW.

The Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) indicated in its daily power production update that the biggest thermal power plant was producing 282MW as of yesterday.

The utility would not reveal the cause for the drastic decline in electricity generation.

In the past, the country’s coal-fired power plants, including Hwange, have experienced subdued generation owing to constant technical faults on equipment due to old age.

ZPC managing director Engineer Noah Gwariro could not be reached for comment on his mobile phone. Zesa spokesperson Mr Fullard Gwasira’s number was also not going through while the firm’s chief executive officer Engineer Josh Chifamba would not be drawn into commenting as he was said to be busy.

As a result of depressed generation, at times, domestic and industrial consumers have had to endure long hours of load shedding.

However, since the beginning of 2016, the Government has tamed power cuts by bridging the power supply gap with imports from regional producers.

The Government has said it is working on a number of initiatives aimed at boosting power supply and upgrading existing generation infrastructure.

Plans are under way to expand the Hwange Thermal Power plant by installing additional units 7 and 8 at a cost of about $1.4 billion. Chinese firm, Sino Hydro has won the tender to do the project whose financial closure is set to be finalised before end of the year.

The upgrading at Hwange is expected to see 600MW being added to the national grid.

However, last month Zesa announced that progress on the funding agreement for Hwange Power Plant has been stalled by about $7,2 million that Zimbabwe owes a Chinese insurance firm.

The insurance company has insisted that it will not guarantee the loan until the country clears its debt.

Upgrade work is already underway at Kariba South Hydro expansion project, which will add 300MW to the national grid. The project is more than 50 percent complete and is expected to be commissioned in 2018.

The Government through the Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority has since 2010 licensed about 24 Independent Power Producers to invest in power generation and the projects are at different stages of completion. Zimbabwe is one of the countries in Sadc experiencing a power deficit due to lack of investment in energy projects.

Electricity demand has in recent years continued to outstrip supply due to factors such as increased population growth.

@okazunga

Zesa seeks $350m loans for power projects

Zesa seeks $350m loans for power projects
Zesa power lines

Zesa power lines

Business Reporter

ZESA Holdings is negotiating for loans amounting to about $350 million with a regional financial institution mainly to fund power generation projects, a source has said. The power utility is seeking money to partly fund the expansion of Hwange Thermal Power Station where it is expected to inject $144 million as part of its equity contribution.Zesa contracted Sino-Hydro to expand capacity at Hwange, the country’s largest power plant at a cost of $1 billion. Initially, Zesa wanted to raise the funds for Hwange by exporting power to Botswana through a four-year deal worth $120 million.

The deal, however, stalled after Botswana Power Company put on hold talks for power imports following the closure of two major smelters in the country.

Zesa is also seeking about $52 million for a complete overhaul of Hwange Unit Two and $56 million for rehabilitation of Harare power plant, the source said, adding the draw-downs on part of the loans would start “as early as end of this month or early December”.

“Zesa is leveraging on its huge debtors book (estimated at $1 billion) to borrow,” said the source.

No comment could be immediately obtained from Zesa by the time of going to print yesterday. In an update of the expansion projects, Zesa said the Kariba South Extension is now 58 percent complete and within schedule. The first unit is expected to come on line in December next year.

The power utility said the Sino-Hydro representatives were in the country recently finalising all agreements required for financial closure for the Hwange expansion project. Zimbabwe produces an average of 1 100MW against peak demand of 1 400MW. To meet the shortfall, the country is importing up to 350MW from South Africa and Mozambique.

100MW solar power station for Gweru

100MW solar power station for Gweru

Business Reporter
ONE of the Independent Power Producers (IPP), Solar Group Zimbabwe, has applied for a licence to construct a 100 megawatt solar plant in the Midlands province.

The Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority (Zera) said in a notice that it has received an application from Solar Group Zimbabwe to construct, own, operate and maintain the power station to be called “Midlands Solar Plant”.

The regulatory authority said the solar plant would generate electricity that would be fed onto the national grid.

“The proposed plant will be located at Chertsey Farm, Gweru, Midlands province. The project will also include the construction of a 0,2 kilometre of a 132kilovolts line from the Midlands Solar Plant to the existing Chertsey 132 Kv substation,” said Zera.

It said the application for a power generation licence has been made in terms of provisions of Section 40 of the Electricity Act (Chapter 13:19) of 2002 that provides that no person shall operate an electricity undertaking without a licence issued by the regulator.

Since 2010, Zera has licensed over 24 IPPs and the projects are at different stages of development.

Most of the projects have, however, been undermined by a shortage of funds and lack of clear policies in the energy sector.

In June, Zera chief executive officer Engineer Gloria Magombo said only 10 of the licensed IPPs were producing electricity at low levels.

At the moment, Zimbabwe is producing about 1 100MW combined from thermal and hydropower stations.

Over the years, the country has experienced power challenges due to lack of investment by the power utility in energy generation.

As a result, this saw Zimbabwe’s power utility, Zesa embarking on massive load shedding throughout the country.

Against this background, the manufacturing sector through its representative body, the Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries, has since 2009 been struggling to improve capacity utilisation to competitive levels with intermittent power supplies cited as a major hurdle.

@okazunga

Zambezi River Authority increases water for power generation

Zambezi River Authority increases water for power generation  

Kariba dam can carry up to 65 billion cubic metres of water.

Kariba dam can carry up to 65 billion cubic metres of water.

 
THE Zambezi River Authority (ZRA), which administers the Zambezi River and the use of Lake Kariba on behalf of the governments of Zimbabwe and Zambia, will next year increase water allocation for power generation from 20 billion cubic metres to 30 billion cubic metres. 
 

 

This is due to expectations that there will be good rains this season.
This means that both the Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) which operates the Kariba South Power Station, and the Zambia Electricity Supply Authority (ZESCO)’s Kariba North Bank Power Station, will have an allocation of 15 billion cubic metres of water each for power generation next year.
At full capacity, Kariba dam has about 65 billion cubic metres of water.
ZRA chief executive officer, Munyaradzi Munodawafa, confirmed the development this week.
“Indeed we have already reviewed the water allocation for next year and each utility has been allocated 15 billion cubic metres of water. The next review will be in the first quarter of 2017,” Munodawafa told this newspaper.
He added: “This year there is no change and the utilities will need to adhere to this year’s allocation of 10 billion cubic metres each.” 
“The reasons for increasing  water allocation was based on the forecast. We anticipate that we are going to receive normal to above rainfall in the coming rainy season. Therefore, we anticipate that we will get about 35 billion cubic metres of water next year,” said Munodawafa. 
Munodawafa, however, did not disclose if ZPC and ZESCO would be allowed to adjust upwards their hydropower generation. 
Currently, Kariba South Power Station is generating 285 megawatts (MW) of electricity, out of a total installed capacity of 750MW, daily.
Zimbabwe’s northern neighbour Zambia, is at present generating about 275MW from an average of around 1 080MW.
ZRA, which was established in 1987 as a successor to the Central African Power Corporation, manages and harnesses the Zambezi River waters. 
It also maintains the Kariba dam complex which comprises the dam wall, Lake Kariba water storage reservoir and other associated ancillary facilities such as lake levels and river in-flows monitoring equipment.
Through the rule curve, the ZRA determines water levels — that is the highest and lowest tolerable levels — to which the Kariba dam reservoir may provide firm loads of water for power generation to ZPC and ZESCO, the two power utilities which share the water resource for power generation.
In May last year, ZRA first reduced water allocation to the two power utilities from 45 billion cubic metres to 33 billion cubic metres, citing low water inflows into Kariba Dam during the 2014/15 rain season, resulting  in intense load shedding throughout the country.
In January this year, it further cut down water usage to 20 billion cubic meters. The decision to cut the water usage was to ensure that water would be conserved so that generation of electricity could continue to the next rain season.  
This came against the backdrop of a severe water crisis in the Zambezi basin leading to low inflows into Lake Kariba, the world’s largest man-made reservoir.
The move worsened the power supply situation in the country at a time Zimbabwe was battling machine breakdown at its four thermal power stations. 
Zimbabwe has been experiencing crippling power shortages, with national demand at peak periods estimated at 1 600MW, against available generation of about 1 000MW. 
Hwange Thermal power station is the biggest electricity plant in Zimbabwe

Hwange Thermal power station is the biggest electricity plant in Zimbabwe.

Hwange Thermal Power Station, the biggest electricity plant in Zimbabwe, is producing 353MW, according to this week’s official figures, against installed capacity of 920MW.
The Harare Power Station is producing 26 while Bulawayo Power Station is generating 16MW. 
Munyati Power Station is producing 17MW.
The country has been importing from regional power utilities to cover supply shortfalls, but this has also not been enough to meet demand.
Imports are currently coming from Mozambique’s Hydro Cahora Bassa, which has been supplying a paltry 50MW, and from Eskom of South Africa.
The South African power utility is supplying about 350MW.
Kariba South Power Station has been producing relatively cheap and reliable electricity for the country at an average cost of US$0,02 per kilowatt hour (kW/h) while electricity generated from four thermal power stations at Hwange, Harare, Munyati and Bulawayo is at an average cost of between US$0,08 and US$0,16 per kW/h. 
Power imports are coming into the country at a cost of about US$0,13 per kWh.
Electricity supply is expected to be one of the key drivers of government’s economic revival strategy under the Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio-Economic Transformation (Zim-Asset). 
Zim-Asset envisages increased access to electricity by domestic consumers, both within urban set ups and rural communities.
A poor rainfall season implies reduced river water in-flows into Lake Kariba which in turn reduces water available for power generation. 
A subdued electricity situation has serious repercussions on the recovery of the productive sectors of the economy such as manufacturing, agriculture, mining and tourism, which government wants to drive the country’s economic recovery.
Unstable power supplies cause companies to incur heavy losses as some processes are interrupted thereby affecting the quality of products.
Some processes are also delayed or aborted resulting in failure to meet deadlines and targets for many companies.
Government, through ZPC, is however working to close the electricity deficit in the country through the expansion of Kariba South Hydro Power Station to add 300MW to the national grid.
Work to expand Kariba by Sino Hydro is currently underway.
The country is also pursuing the Hwange Thermal Power Station expansion project which would see the country’s largest coal-fired power station, adding two more units to give a combined generation capacity of 600MW.
It is also pursuing the Batoka Gorge power project along the Zambezi River.
ZPC is also pursuing the establishment of solar power plants and has identified possible sites in Gwanda, Zvishavane, Munyati and Plumtree.
The Munyati and Zvishavane sites already belong to ZPC.
ZPC is also planning a mini-hydro power station along the Gairezi River in Manicaland.        
 

Zera to audit Zesa

Zera to audit Zesa

zesalogo

Harare Bureau
Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority will institute an independent audit of the cost structure and operations of Zesa to determine whether the utility is passing the cost of its inefficiencies to consumers.

Zera acting chief executive Engineer Misheck Siyakatshana said the regulator had already started reviewing submissions by international consultants for the tender to carry out the cost and operations audit of Zesa.

“The results of the review will be presented to the Ministry of Energy and Power Development who will decide on the course of action as the shareholder,” he said.

Over the past five years, the Government and Zera have only allowed marginal increase in power tariff to avoid crippling businesses.

The audit comes after Zera rejected a proposal by Zesa, in July this year, to hike power tariffs by 49 percent to increase revenue inflow to fund operations, finance maintenance works and bankroll capital intensive projects.

Zesa, owed over $1 billion in arrears by consumers, would have hiked tariffs from an average 9,83c/kWh to 14,69c/kWh if the request had been granted. It was feared hiking tariffs would lead to a wave of price increases. Available research findings show that electricity is a major cost to production in virtually all sectors of the economy accounting for 20 percent of production cost in farming and agriculture, 16 percent in institutions, 15 percent in industry and 11 percent in commercial activities.

Mr Siyakatshana said there was concern from various quarters, including Government, that possible inefficiencies within Zesa could be the reason for high cost of power and sustained demands to raise tariffs.

“The review was commissioned (by Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory authority) following concerns from various stakeholders; Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries, Chamber of Mines, consumer groups and most importantly Government itself that there could be inefficiencies in both the structure and operations of Zesa Holdings and its subsidiaries,” he said.

“The Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority is currently procuring independent international consultants to examine and review the cost structure and operations of Zesa with a view to identify areas of cost saving and efficiency improvement,” Mr Siyakatshana said on Friday last week.
Zesa’s power tariffs are considered a major cost driver to businesses in Zimbabwe. Cost of power is one of many factors cited in studies meant to improve the country’s ease of doing business conditions with a view to raising the competitiveness of local industry and companies to global standards.

“Government is concerned there could be inefficiencies in Zesa and wanted an independent consultant to go through the cost structure operations of Zesa. Government, as shareholder, will decide what to do,” he said.

While a study by National Economic Consultative Forum found out that the average cost of producing electricity from the power utility’s hydro and thermal power stations is higher compared to other regional countries, due to the ageing equipment, inefficiencies were also cited as a factor.

Official statistics show that Zesa’s average cost of producing electricity between 2009 and 2016 has ranged between 9,65c per kilowatt hour and 14,62c/kWh while the tariff ranged from 7,53c/kWh and 9,86c/kWh.

Govt bails out Zesa

Govt bails out Zesa

zesalogo

Felex Share, Harare Bureau
THE Government has averted a potential electricity crisis by issuing a R500 million ($35 million) guarantee to South Africa’s power utility, Eskom to back up power imports from the neighbouring country.

Eskom, which supplies Zesa Holdings with 300 megawatts, recently wrote to the power utility threatening to cut supplies over a               $12 million debt.

Erratic power supplies have a negative impact on industry and the agriculture sector.

Following provision of the guarantee, the onus is now on Zesa to ensure it meets its obligations on time.

Sources yesterday said the guarantee to Eskom was issued last week.

“A looming disaster has been averted, but that does not mean Zesa has to relax because still the debt has to cleared,” said a source.

“In the event that Zesa fails to pay, Eskom will simply call up the guarantee and Government will have to pay the money. This is a burden if Zesa does not pay up. Because in the national budget, that guarantee is not factored in, it means something budgeted for will have to suffer. Legally, Government is saying I am standing behind Zesa.”

The source said Zesa management must be rigorous and innovative to recoup $1,1 billion owed by customers.

This, said the source, was the only  way the power utility could service its debts.

“The guarantee will only be used as a last recourse in the event that Zesa fails to settle its bills,” he said. ‘‘What Zesa needs to do is to ensure it settles its bills and for that to happen it needs the support of everybody including the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe. Customers also have to respond positively as it is also in their interest.”

Zesa also owes Mozambique’s Hydro Cahora Bassa $10 million.

Zesa chief executive Engineer Josh Chifamba yesterday declined to comment on the guarantee, referring questions to the Ministry of Energy and Power Development.

He, however, said the power utility was putting in place measures “to avoid load shedding at all costs”.

“We are working hard to ensure there won’t be any load shedding. We are going to be talking this coming week with our customers who are into exports with a view to see if they can give us part of their allocation such that we have foreign currency and are able to pay for power imports,” Eng Chifamba said.

“Load shedding is something we should avoid at all costs. It has a negative impact not only on our operations but also on the actual functioning of the economy.

“In times like this, customers earning forex should come and assist. In the process of helping us, they will be helping themselves because without reliable and secure (power) supply their business will be undermined.”

He added: “Previously we have had this kind of dispensation with customers and it’s the same model we are trying to replicate. We have been successful with platinum customers and we are also making a plea to others to come on board. If we lose these supplies the effects are calamitous.

What is a power crisis might turn out to be a serious financial crisis.”

Since the beginning of the year, Zimbabwe’s power situation has significantly improved due to a number of initiatives put in place by Zesa Holdings, including imports.

During the last quarter of last year, the power cuts had been so severe that many residents experienced up to 18-hour outages.

The power cuts also affected businesses, particularly mining companies and the manufacturing sector.

Exploit Zambezi River, southern Africa urge

Exploit Zambezi River, southern Africa urged
Mr Munodawafa

Mr Munodawafa

Conrad Mwanawashe Business Reporter

SOUTHERN African countries that share the Zambezi River, should consider major investments to exploit the 10 000MW untapped hydroelectricity capacity along the water body to guarantee power within the bloc as the World Bank expects demand for electricity to increase by 40 percent over thenext 10 years.

The Zambezi River common between Zimbabwe and Zambia and a part of Mozambique has capacity to generate 14 000MW of hydroelectricity between Katombora Barrage upstream the Victoria Falls and downstream the Cahora Bassa at Lupata in Mozambique.Currently, only about 4 000MW have been exploited so far by Zimbabwe, Zambia and Mozambique, leaving 10 000MW potential excess capacity.

Hydroelectricity generation plants on the Zambezi River currently include the Victoria Falls power station which is on the north bank of the falls on the Zambian side.

There is no corresponding power station on the Zimbabwean side. This is because should there be a power station on the Zimbabwean side the Victoria Falls would cease to be a world wonder.There is also the Kariba power stations 1 266MW capacity with potential for additional 300 /600MW; and the Cahora Bassa — 2 075MW existing and potential — 1 200MW on the north side.

“When we sat down we looked through and said yes we have got potential starting from the Batoka Gorge.“Initially we thought we would generate 1 600MW (at Batoka) but now we know we can get 2 400MW as technology improves,” said Zambezi River Authority chief executive officer Munyaradzi Munodawafa in a presentation to the ZRA board members on a mission to Zambia and Zimbabwe to assess progress on the development of the Batoka Gorge recently.

As development of the Batoka Gorge is now taking shape, the next proposed development target is the Devil’s Gorge upstream the Kariba Dam, which has a potential to generate about 1 240MW.Mupata Gorge, downstream the Kariba, with a potential capacity of 1 000MW is also in the ZRA plans.Further downstream the Cahora Bassa, Mupanda Uncua with 1 600MW potential, Boroma — 444MW and Lupata — 654MW are also proposed.

Apart from these proposed hydroelectricity generation plants, Mr Munodawafa said further upstream of the Victoria Falls there is a small but important gorge which is like a constriction called Katombora Barrage.

Mr Munodawafa said even though the Katombora Barrage will not provide energy it provides a lot of advantages downstream including providing the Victoria Falls with a constant supply of water all the time.The Southern African Power Pool, in its 2015 annual report said southern Africa installed a total of 13 604MW of new generation capacity in the last 11 years which gives an annual average of 1 237MW of new generation capacity.

In 2015, 1 999MW of new generation capacity was commissioned of which 83 percent was from renewable energy and electricity demand increased by 6,8 percent.SAPP anticipates that almost all countries will be commissioning new generation plants in the next few years with a total of 24 062MW new generation capacity planned. However, with the growth in industry and population in the region more power generation capacity will be required.

The World Bank recently said it is working on a programme with SAPP with a view to providing capacity to speed up development of regional power generation and transmission projects.Expects say there is need to guarantee sufficient power generation, transmission and distribution capacity which has a direct bearing on the availability and reliability of low cost, environmentally friendly electric energy in the region.

SADC says in order to capitalise on the region’s potential for electricity generation, encourages investment in the region’s electricity infrastructure, especially in electricity plants, transmission lines, coal depots, and nuclear demonstration plants.At present, most electricity in southern Africa is produced through burning coal. However, SADC aims to develop the region’s renewable energy resources, with plans for hydro-power plants underway in Mozambique, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Lesotho, and along the Zambezi River.

Kariba plunge pool rehab to begin

Kariba plunge pool rehab to begin

Conrad Mwanawashe Business Reporter

CONTRACTORS engaged by the Zambezi River Authority to remedy the erosion of the plunge pool on the Kariba Dam wall are expected to be on site within the next three weeks to commence the rehabilitation works.A plunge pool is defined as a deep basin excavated at the foot of a waterfall by the action of the falling water. ZRA shortlisted six companies from Asia and Europe to carry out the repair works on the plunge pool on the Kariba Dam wall from the 23 expressions of interest submitted in 2013.

“The procurement process of identifying a contractor getting the European Commission, African Development Bank, World bank and Swedish Government, you know there are four financiers, getting them to agree was always going to somewhat slow,” said ZRA chairman and secretary for Energy in the Ministry of Energy and Power Development Partson Mbiriri.

“We are not dealing with just one institution but four.“So we are kind of running behind on the projects but nonetheless come November we should have the contractor on site attending to the plunge pool.”Mr Mbiriri, however, could not divulge the identity of the contractors who have been finally appointed to carry out the rehabilitation works.

Rehabilitating the pool is estimated to cost $125 million and to be completed in about three years.The rehabilitation will also see work carried out on the dam’s floodgates one at a time.

Mr Mbiriri said the plunge pool may have been growing over time because at times ZRA would open all the six gates all the times but now is opening alternate gates when need be or just one gate so as to minimise the impact on the plunge pool.

“What has been happening is that instead of the plunge pool developing going downstream it has been developing coming towards the wall. That is where the risk has been,” said Mr Mbiriri.

The contractors are expected to drill and blast the lower part of the plunge pool to create a slope that forces the water to go down and not to swell within the plunge pool.

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