By Oliver Kazunga
Hwange Local Board intends to dispose of residential and commercial land to pave way for the development of the $1,4 billion Hwange Thermal Power Station expansion project.
The capacity extension project, which is being undertaken by Chinese energy systems giant, Sino Hydro, will feed an additional 600 megawatts into the national grid through the addition of units 7 and 8 at the power plant.
The units, which will each generate 300MW of electricity, will also raise Hwange Thermal Power Station’s installed capacity to 1 520MW from the current 920MW.
In a public notice issued this week, Hwange Local Board said:
“Notice is hereby given in terms of section 152 (2) of the Urban Council Act Chapter 29:15 that council intends to sell:
“Three hundred (300) high density stands in Empumalanga to the Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) for the relocation of Ingagula Township to pave way for the expansion of the Hwange Thermal Power Station, 39 454 square metres of land currently known as Hillside Park (T Section) for ZPC to decommission the temporary houses and demolish them one by one and subsequently replace such.”
Construction work to expand the power plant has already begun with optimism that the project would be completed within the 42 months time frame and original budget.
Hwange Local Board also said 40 000 square metres of industrial stand would be sold to Sino-Zimbabwe for the establishment of a warehouse and cement milling plant to supply cement to the power plant’s expansion project.
In June last year, President Mnangagwa officiated at the groundbreaking ceremony of the expansion project marking the beginning of works at the site.
For a decade, the project could not take off due to funding constraints after Zimbabwe was frozen out of the global economy over land reforms at the turn of the millennium.
However, progress only started showing after the President’s State visit to China in April last year, during which Chinese President Xi Jinping authorised financing of the power project.
Zimbabwe and China have further deepened their relations by upgrading them to Comprehensive, Strategic Partnership and Co-operation, which broadens the scope of engagement and funding of projects across all sectors of the economy.
It is believed that the expansion of Hwange will bring about massive socio-economic transformation through increased supply of energy to the mining, agricultural and manufacturing sectors.
And at the peak of the project, it is also envisaged that over 7 000 jobs will be created, directly and indirectly. The Chronicle