Kariba South expansion on course

August 6, 2015, 4:51am

Kariba South expansion on course

HARARE - Zimbabwe says work at the Kariba South hydro-electric plant is going ahead as planned despite earlier warnings that China Eximbank had withheld funds for the project until government clears its previous loan arrears.

Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa said the project — expected to add an additional 300 megawatts (MW) to the national grid at a total cost of $533 million — remained on course for completion in March 2018.

“As at June 30, 2015, an amount of $22 million had been disbursed, bringing the total disbursements to date to $101,8 million,” he said in his mid-term fiscal statement last week.

“The Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) has also contributed $14,4 million this year towards the project, bringing the total contribution by the parastatal to $50,9 million,” Chinamasa added.

In terms of the agreement signed between ZPC, a subsidiary of national power utility Zesa Holdings, and Sino Hydro Corporation, China Eximbank is to provide $355 million for the project while ZPC will contribute $213 million.

John Kachembere: Daily News

Indications on the ground show that excavations on Adits 1 to 4, as well as the power house pilot tunnel, coupled with construction of the upstream coffer dam have been completed.