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.