Zimbabwe signs $1.5bn deal to tackle electricity shortage

13 October 2014

Zimbabwe signed a $1.5-billion deal with China’s Sinohydro Corp on Friday to expand a coal-fired power plant to tackle the country’s crippling electricity shortages.

The deal would see Sinohydro Corp add 600 MW of electricity at the ageing Hwange plant as well as a transmission line.

Zimbabwe produces 1,100 MW of power against peak demand of 2, 200 MW, so industry and households endure regular power cuts.
Under the agreement, the state-owned Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) will seek a $1.17-billion loan from China’s Export and Import Bank in negotiations that are expected to take a year.

Josh Chifamba, the chief executive of ZPC’s holding company ZESA Holdings, said that to generate more revenues, the pre-paid meters would be introduced to industry and farmers, who consume most electricity.

The project is due to take 42 months to complete.

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