Masvingo, Zimbabwe — ESI-AFRICA.COM — 20 February 2012 – The Masvingo Rural District Council has approved a US$13 million mini-hydro power project at Lake Mutirikwi in Zimbabwe. The application was made by the Great Zimbabwe Hydro-Power Company, which is jointly owned by a Zimbabwean company, ZOL and its South African partner, New Planet.
Harare daily “The Herald” reports that the company has asked for five hectares of land for the
5 megawatt (MW) hydropower plant which should be in operation by early 2014.
The plant is one of two currently being developed by Zimbabwe, the newspaper reports. Another 5-MW facility at Tokwe-Murkosi is planned for completion in 2013.
The mini-hydro power plant is expected to produce five megawatts of electricity that will be fed into the national grid upon completion of the project in March 2014.
Masvingo RDC chief executive Clemence Makwarimba has confirmed that the council has approved the application. A memorandum of agreement between the mini-hydro power developer and Masvingo RDC would be signed soon.
"Once we have finalised the lease confirming that our council has approved their application for five hectares of land, we will then sign the memorandum of understanding with Great Zimbabwe Hydro Power that will pave way for building of the plant to begin. We hope that construction of the plant will start in September this year,” he said.
The successful completion of the power plant and subsequent generation of hydro power at Lake Mutirikwi would augur well for the Masvingo province, said Makwarimba.
“Masvingo has untapped mini-hydro power potential and the successful building of the power plant at Lake Mutirikwi will give impetus to similar ventures around the country,” he predicted.
Plans are also underway for the construction of a mini-hydropower plant at Manyuchi Dam in Mwenezi. This plant has a potential to generate a further 5MW while the coming on board of Tokwe-Murkosi Dam in 2013 will create scope to build an 18MW hydro-power plant.