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Zimbabwe electricity demand to peak at 7 000MW

by Staff reporter
21 Oct 2022 at 06:03hrs | Views
DEMAND for electricity is projected to peak at 7 000 megawatts by 2035 largely driven by mega investment projects in the mining sector.

Amid indications that Hwange Thermal Power Station's Unit 7 expansion overall completion is at 94,6 percent, Zimbabwe is pushing towards scaling up its energy output in tandem with economic growth, a Zesa Holdings official said yesterday.

The country is on track to meeting the November deadline for commissioning the 300 megawatts Hwange's Unit 7 while the other 300 megawatts unit is set for commissioning early next year.

Addressing delegates to the inaugural Africa Infrastructure and Construction Conference session on upstream and downstream business opportunities in Bulawayo, Zesa Holdings consultant for power projects development, Engineer Tanda Chisi said demand for energy is ever growing.

To that end, by 2035, the country would need to produce between 6 000 and 7 000 megawatts.

"Demand is growing especially from new mining projects. It is forecast that we need 6 000 to 7 000 megawatts by 2035," he said.

"So, all plans we are having are on the assumption that we would be producing those volumes by 2035 and we forge ahead with the national vision of being an upper middle-income by 2030."

Eng Chisi said Zimbabwe has sufficient internal transmission capability to move electricity, adding that the Hwange expansion project was progressing well despite earlier implementation challenges related to Covid-19 procurement delays.

"The project is essentially almost complete. We are seating at 94,6 percent overall. On design, engineering together with procurement of materials we are at 99,5 percent and construction is at 87,4 percent," he said.

"So, we are confident that by end on November, commissioning of Unit 7 will be done and Unit 8 in March next year."

Eng Chisi said the project has had immense economic development spill-offs noting that the bulk of raw materials including cement and steel was procured from local firms.

The Hwange expansion project is being financed to the tun of US$1,4 billion Hwange and construction began in August 2018 following a ground-breaking ceremony by President Mnangagwa.

The project scope entails addition of the two units with a combined capacity of 600MW to the national grid.

It is one of the flagship projects being implemented under the Second Republic in line with Vision 2030, which aims to transform Zimbabwe into an upper middle-income economy.

When fully commissioned, the project is expected to help the country tame electricity imports and ease power cuts, which will drive increased industrial production with guaranteed electricity, a key economic enabler and driver towards realisation of national goals in line with Vision 2030.

The country's power generation capacity is subdued at around 1 300MW with demand hovering around 1 750MW, according to official statistics.

Source - The Chronicle
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