Zimbabwe’s Power Infrastructure Rehabilitation Project nears completion
The ZimFund-funded project will help relieve power outage woes in the country.
With the delivery of a 175 MVA transformer at Sherwood Substation, the Emergency Power Infrastructure Rehabilitation Project (EPIRP II) has reached the last implementation phase. This will relieve thousands of electricity consumers in the Midlands, Mashonaland East and West provinces.
The second phase of the EPIRP received US$22.74 million in funding from the Zimbabwe Multi-Donor Trust Fund (ZimFund). A group of donors created ZimFund in 2010 to support the high-priority recovery and development activities of the Government of Zimbabwe. The African Development Bank was assigned to manage ZimFund with the endorsement of the Zimbabwe Government, the donor community and the United Nations.
The 175 MVA transformer was delivered on Sunday, 10 July, to the Sherwood Substation in Kwekwe Midlands, 200 km west of Harare. The Sherwood substation caters to around 1.2 million people. It is equipped with three 90MVA, 330/88/11kV transformers. This gives the substation a total installed capacity of 270 MVA against a substation demand of 350 MVA. The new transformer will increase the capacity to 445 MVA.
EPIRP II was designed to improve electricity availability by rehabilitating generation, transmission, and distribution facilities. The target areas were Kwekwe, Gweru, Bulawayo, Mutare, Harare, and Hwange, with a targeted population of five million people.
Engineering professional services consulting firm WSP undertook the role of Implementing Entity on the project, on behalf of the government of Zimbabwe. The Power team from WSP in Africa is providing consultancy and project management services throughout the EPIRP lifecycle: from project scoping, development of technical specifications and tender stage management to design management, construction supervision and final handover.
Dinesh Buldoo, WSP Power MD, said that the transformer delivery was a key milestone in the project as it was the largest piece of equipment in the project scope. He said, “The project faced delays exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic, especially on the production and shipping lines. We would like to thank the Zimbabwe Electricity Distribution Company (ZETDC) and the people of Zimbabwe for their patience throughout this project.”
The project’s first phase concluded in 2016, with more than 529,768 people in residential areas having their sewage reticulation serviced by reliable power. Eleven thousand six hundred and thirty-two others were restored to the electricity network and 11,097 were added to the network, the African Development Bank said.
Most of ZimFund's rehabilitated substations supply power to critical institutions such as hospitals, schools and universities, water and sewage treatment plants, mines, and other public facilities.
Top Photo: 175 MVA transformer installed by ZimFund at Sherwood Substation in Kwekwe Midlands Province, Zimbabwe (afdb.org)