Zimbabwe President Commissions Hwange Thermal Power Plant Expansion

The expansion takes the plant’s total installed capacity to 1,520MW.

By Sneha A on
22nd August 2023

Zimbabwe’s President Emmerson Mnangagwa conducted the groundbreaking ceremony for the Hwange thermal power plant’s expansion on 3 August.

Located in the Matabeleland North province of western Zimbabwe, the plant now has an additional 600MW of capacity from its new units 7 and 8, added at a cost of about US$1.4 billion. The expansion project also involves the construction of transmission infrastructure to enable the efficient delivery of power to various parts of the country.

The construction was completed by Chinese contractor Sinohydro and the project was backed by funding from the Chinese government.

In total, the power station can now generate a total capacity of up to 1,520MW, out of which 920MW is supplied by the older units 1-6.

“We have come to commission Unit 7 and 8, which gives us an excess of 600MW. We are saying goodbye to load-shedding,” said President Mnangagwa at the groundbreaking. 

“International investments like this help drive our country forward towards Vision 2030.”

Under the Vision 2030 economic plan, the government is aiming to transform Zimbabwe into an upper middle-income country by 2030.

In its third-quarter update for 2022, Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) said it had secured US$310 million from the Export-Import Bank of India to fund the rehabilitation of the Hwange plant. The work will be carried out in three phases and will start in the third quarter of 2023. 

Currently, Zimbabwe has an installed capacity of 2,600MW, with demand estimated at 1,500MW in 2022. However, there are frequent power outages in the country due to issues such as droughts and inefficient infrastructure.

“The economy is growing quite rapidly; with this economic growth, the demand is fast outstripping supply,” wrote President Mnangagwa in an opinion piece for local newspaper The Sunday Mail in July 2022. 

“We have to increase our internal power generation, possibly three-fold, if we are to avoid throttling our growth and lessen our dependency on power imports.” 

Photo: Hwange Expansion Project (@PowerChinaZimb1 on Twitter)

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