29 March 2012 – The peak demand in Zimbabwe is some 2,200 MW, but the country currently produces only about 1,000 MW. The country also owes about US$85 million for power it has imported, mainly from Cahora Bassa in Mozambique, and this supply is under threat due to non payment. Supply from Cahora Bassa has been reduced to 50 MW due to the payment problem.
Zimbabwe does have plans to increase its power generation capacity, through two projects, these being a 600 MW (two 300 MW unit) extension of the Hwange coal fired power station in Matabeleland in the North province. There are also plans for a 300 MW extension of the Kariba South hydroelectric power station. In addition, talks are reportedly ongoing between Zimbabwe and Zambia on undertaking the 1,600 MW Batoka Gorge hydroelectric project which would be jointly done by the two countries. The latter, however, remains tenuous in terms of commitments.
Last year the Zimbabwe Power Company selected Hatch Africa to act as the lead consulting engineer on the Hwange thermal power station expansion project. The first phase of the project kicked off in March 2011, with commissioning targeted for towards the end of 2014. Hatch Africa was also selected as lead consulting engineer to extend the Kariba South hydroelectric power station. The extension of the Kariba South hydroelecrical power station involves the addition of two 150 MW units and will increase that power station’s capacity from 750 MW (6 x 125 MW units) to 1,050 MW.