AFRICANGLOBE – Continuing its journey to economic restoration and better living conditions for its populace, Zimbabwe has, via the Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority (ZERA), approved a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with the China Africa Sunlight Energy (CASECO) to construct a 600MW thermal power station.
This process was initiated during President’s visit to China in August, a trip tagged by many as being “fruitful.”
Gloria Magombo, Chief Executive Engineer at ZERA, disclosed this development adding that the agreements had been reviewed and passed to the financiers. “Yes, the Zera board in consultation with the minister, as required by the law, approved the PPA because what we do is to review and see whether or not it complies with the nation’s tariff, risk allocation and international best practices and they met those,” she said.
Going further, she added; “The same document is then taken for finalization with financiers of the project for financial closure. The financiers will not approve a project where the PPA has not been approved. They will also do their own feasibility studies.”
Revealing the process for the completion of the phases of the projects, Charles Mugari, CASECO Deputy General Manager, said; “We will do construction of the coal mine, power station, the first 300MW and accommodation for staff concurrently. Our plan is to make sure that by the first half of 2017, we will have 300MW on the national grid with the other 300MW coming up at the end of 2017.”
This power station is an integral part of the Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio-Economic Transformation (Zim-Asset), a blue print that, according to the Zimbabwe Parliament, is expected to guide and direct all government policies and programmes from October, 2013 to December, 2018 in line with a vision, “towards an empowered society and a growing economy.”
Other power projects in the pipeline include the Kariba South Power Expansion Project and the expansion of the Hwange Thermal Power Station. When put together, these three ongoing projects should add about 1,200 MW to the national grid by 2017.
By: Emmanuel Iruobe