17 May 2013 - Zimbabwe’s state procurement board has awarded the tender to expand Hwange power station to China Machinery Engineering Company (CMEC). The expansion of Hwange will see the addition of two units with a combined capacity of 600 MW.

Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) is at the negotiation stage and an engineering procurement construction (EPC) contract will be signed before the project commences. ZPC believes the project will begin during the course of 2013 and will be developed and housed in a new separate project company.

The two new units will operate as base load capacity and will take about 36 months to construct. Zimbabwe is experiencing a power shortage, and ZPC is on a drive to ensure the situation improves through various projects. In December 2012 ZPC signed an EPC contract with Sino Hydro for the Kariba South expansion project which will add 300 MW to the country’s grid.

Hwange power station is also set to undergo a life extension programme which is aimed at improving plant availability of stages 1 and 2 by 90%, and increasing the lifespan of the plant by another 30 years. A phase one study has been carried out by Alstom on the stage 1 units at Hwange power station.