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Zimbabwe’s Hwange thermal power plant upgrade in top gear

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Zimbabwe’s Hwange thermal power plant will get three major engines in expansion plan aimed at enhancing the capacity of the plant.

It follows an agreement signed between China’s state-owned Dongfang Electric Corp with Power Construction Corporation of China (Chinapower) for the supply of the engines.

The development comes even as Zimbabwe grapples with political uncertainty following a military take over of government.

Hwange power station is the largest of its kind in the country with installed capacity of 920 megawatts (MW). However, ageing equipment means only 600MW are being generated

Zimbabwe is generating 1 200MW against peak demand of 2 200MW and has been relying on imports from South Africa and Mozambique to cover the deficit.

Read:KenGen launches Olkaria V geothermal project

Last December, Parliament approved the US$1 billion Hwange Power Station expansion loan facility after which authorities published the deal in the Government Gazette.

Hwange thermal power station was built during the 1980s and close to the coal fields. It is owned and driven by the national electricity company Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority, (ZESA) officially called as ZESA Holdings (Pvt.) Ltd.

A large part of the plant uses coal as power inputs. Expansion involves construction of a further two generating units adding 600MW to the national grid.

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