Zimbabwe government takes steps to help expedite USD 300m Kariba Power Plant Expansion

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By Zimbabwe Investor on July 15, 2014. No Comments

Zimbabwe’s government has taken a big step towards implementation of the Kariba South Hydro Power Station expansion project by setting up a company to take ownership of the plant’s assets, according to the Financial Gazette.

The formation of a new firm, called Kariba Hydro Power Company was one of the few outstanding conditions, out of 17 set by the financier of the project, China Export and Import Bank (China Eximbank) for it to release funds for the expansion programme.

Energy and Power Development Deputy Minister, Munacho Mutezo is quoted saying that the company would be responsible for the implementation of the Kariba South Hydro Power Station expansion project, which is expected to take about three and a half years.

“We have already created a new entity, the Kariba Hydro Company, which is a vehicle responsible for the implementation of the Kariba South Hydro Power Station expansion project,” said Mutezo on the side-lines of the recent Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce annual congress in Victoria Falls.

“Government has done its bit but we want that (Kariba South Hydro Power Station expansion) project to be self-contained and be able to service its debt over 20-25 years. It’s important that this project is undertaken as quickly as possible. If we can’t meet (electricity) demand when the industry is currently operating at about 35% capacity, what will happen when industry’s capacity goes to more than 50%? By 2018 we should be able to have enough power which we should be exporting.”

According to the provisions of the multi-million dollar agreement signed in 2013 between Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC), a subsidiary of State-owned ZESA Holdings, and China Eximbank, the new company would ring fence revenues until it cleared its expansion loan amounting to USD 319.5m. The government and China Eximbank signed a USD 355m loan agreement for the expansion of the Kariba South Hydro Power Station.