The Zimbabwe National Water Authority plans to set up mini-hydro power plants at 18 selected dam sites across the country as it seeks to compliment Government’s efforts to improve the current power situation.
The water authority will enter into joint venture agreements with private players in coming up with feasibility studies, design and maintenance of the mini-hydro power plants.
This initiative is part of Government’s efforts to avert power outages which were worsened by significant reduction in generation capacity at the country’s two main power stations.
Low water levels at Kariba Hydro Power station last year saw capacity dropping from 730MW to 490 MW while production at Hwange Thermal Power Station, the largest in the country also declined due to recurrent break downs.
“Zinwa wishes to enter into a joint venture with selected registered companies in the design, and installation of mini-hydro power stations for the feasibility study, design,engineering,manufacture,quality assurance testing,supply,transportation to site, installation, testing, commissioning, operation and maintenance of mini-hydro power plants at 18 selected dam sites,” said Zinwa in a statement.
“The power generated from the selected sites is a cleaner renewable energy source that can be used as an alternative power source and supplementary power requirement for the operation of Zinwa dams.”
This initiative by Zinwa will also enhance power supply to areas that at present do not have power supply and to reduce dependency on imported power and fuels.
Government through Zinwa has already mooted the construction of a 15 megawatt mini-hydro power station at Tokwe Mukosi dam which is expected to cost $25 million.
The Infrastructure Development Bank of Zimbabwe is expected to raise about $7 million for the excavation works to be carried out before an investor could chip in with funding for the set up of the power station.
Tokwe Mukorsi dam construction has since been completed leaving room for Zinwa and IDBZ to start preliminary works on the mini-hydro power plant set for the inland dam.