Zimbabwe state-owned generation company Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) has told Xinhua that work on the US$1.5 billion Hwange expansion project is progressing on schedule.
Chinese company Sinohydro is carrying out the expansion project on Units 7 and 8. The work is now at 18% completion, including transmission lines. The concrete construction of foundation for main power building, Unit 8 section, batching plant and the construction of the chimney foundation are now complete.
It is planned that the Hwange expansion will deliver 600 MW to the national electricity grid, starting January 2022.
Situated in the northwestern part of Zimbabwe, Hwange Power Station is a coal-fired plant that already operates 920 MW of installed capacity, which comprises of 4x120 MW and 2x220 MW units. It is the 14th largest thermal station in the Southern African region and is adjacent to the Wankie Colliery Open Cast Mine. The station was built in two stages. The 4x120 MW units were commissioned between 1983 and 1986 and the 2x220 MW were commissioned in 1986 and 1987. All six units are available and the station currently generates about 40% percent of the country’s electricity needs.
In August 2018, ZPC officially commenced expansion works at Hwange Power Station which will result in a third stage being added to the station with 2x300 MW units being constructed.
Coal is delivered to the station by an overland conveyor belt which is 6 kilometres long from Hwange Colliery Company Limited (HCCL) as well as by trucks from Makomo and Coalbrick mines. Water which is piped 44 kilometers from the Zambezi River is pumped into two 150,000-cubic-meter reservoirs next to the station and conveyed by gravity to its point of use.
Hwange Power station operates as a base load station. Zimbabwe suffers from acute power shortages, which are hindering its economic development.
ZPC is a subsidiary of power utility ZESA Holdings.