The Kariba South Power Station in Zimbabwe, received US$80 million from China’s Export-Import Bank (Exlm) which is the first payment made from the total US$354 million to extend the station, reported Ventures Africa.

The 40 month expansion plan will be implemented by the partnership of Chinese company Sino Hydro and the Zimbabwe Power Company where the total costs of the expansion total US$533 million.

The project will add a further 300MW to the current 745MW output capacity.

These developments could be the answer to Zimbabwe’s unstable power crisis where they have been battling to meet a meagre 59 percent of electricity demands, Ventures Africa reported.

‘According to the provisions of the contract, the payment schedule of the funds stretches up to 42 months and both parties have so far adhered to the provisions and are amicably pursuing the extension works that are expected to bear fruits within the stipulated timeframes to achieve security of electricity supply…

‘The funds from China Eximbank have been used for civil works that entail the blasting and drilling of tunnels into the main power house and to date, a stretch of over 100 metres that encompasses the contractor,’ said Fullard Gwasira a spokesperson for the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA) reported Ventures Africa.Zimbabwe vic falls

Reliable and sustainable power supply is imperative to the development of an economy. Political struggles and economic recession have severely hindered the development of the Zimbabwean economy and therefore solutions to the power deficits are urgently required.

Ventures Africa reports that a source from Sino Hydro revealed that funds have been released and the project is already starting with its developments

‘I can confirm we got about $80 million advancement payment from China Exim Bank and we used the money to pay the manufacturer for the turbines and generation which allows the process to move at full speed. Work had already started but now that the money has started coming the project is going into full force. As Sino Hydro, we are making all these efforts to make sure we deliver on the project so that it is completed on time according to the contract…

‘The Bank will be disbursing money according to the interim payment certificate approved by ZPC (Zimbabwe Power Company). So far so good, everything is working well,’ the source said.