The Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) has began a busy seven-day test run for unit number 8 of the Kariba South, the second generator in the extension project.
The main aim of the exercise is to test performance and functionality of the 8th unit. This comes after the extension project undertaken at a cost of US $533m. The two, Unit 7and 8 will contribute an additional 300MW to the national grid to add to the 750MW of the original six.
According to ZPC Acting managing Director, Engineer Joshua Chirikutsi, the project is 98% complete and will be complete by 10th March this year. Before commissioning and being declared commercially available, Unit 8 will also undergo a compulsory seven-day test to monitor its performance.
Currently, Zimbabwe has a daily power deficit of about 300MW and 600MW and spends between US $7m and US $10m a week on power imports from Eskom of South Africa and Hydro Cahora Bassa of Mozambique. Zimbabwe would need to resort to rolling power cuts if there were no imports.
Furthermore, ZPC is also finalizing financial closure for the new 600MW Hwange 7 and 8 Expansion Project. The construction work will also begin this year.
The country is also looking into extension projects of current capacity. There has been zero investment into power generation since completion of Hwange in the mid 1980s.