15 May 2013 – Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) reports that the Gairezi hydro power station project is progressing, with the company having embarked on an environmental impact assessment (EIA) for the 30 MW plant. Environmental consulting group Ascon Africa was appointed to conduct the EIA.
The Gairezi project envisages the construction of a dam across the Gairezi River to divert the water through a headrace tunnel, surge shaft and valve house chamber for hydroelectric power generation in a surface power house. The power house is planned to have a capacity of two by 15 MW units each operating under a net head of about 304 metres. The run of river project to be driven by vertical Francis Turbines, would afford an annual electricity generation of 97.71 GWh.
As part of the project, a 30 km transmission line will be constructed to evacuate power from the Gairezi power house to the ZETDC substation near Nyanga town. Service roads for the transmission line will also be constructed. The road from Troutbeck to the project site will be upgraded from gravel to bitumen to allow for the transportation of equipment and construction materials.
This hydroelectric power station will greatly improve supply in Manicaland province and the country. Currently Zimbabwe is importing power from Mozambique and Zambia, and completion of this project will help reduce imported electricity.