Construction works at the Zimbabwe ZhongXin Electric Energy (ZZEE) power plant in Hwange, Matabeleland North province is 98 percent complete with the 300MW project expected to produce 50MW under the first phase.
ZZEE is a subsidiary of the Zimbabwe ZhongXin Coking Company (ZZCC), a joint venture project between Qualisave Mineral Resources of Zimbabwe and Yuxia ZhongXin Coking Company of China.
On Tuesday Cabinet discussed progress at the project, which is one of the interventions expected to ease power supply shortages in the country. Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa told journalists during a post-Cabinet briefing: “The Zimbabwe Zhongxin Electric Project is overall 98 percent complete. The power plant design and construction is 100 percent complete, while the transmission line is at 90 percent with 1,3 kilometers of the line section remaining for completion”.
The power plant whose construction began in February 2019 was expected to produce 50MW in October last year under phase one of the project but missed the deadline because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Upon completion, the power plant will consume 300 000 tonnes of coal annually and ZZCC has been given a Coal Special Grant Grant (CSG) by the Government in order to enjoy economies of scale once the firm starts producing coal to support its operations.
Meanwhile, Minister Mutsvangwa said the construction of Units 7 and 8 at Hwange Thermal Power Station was at 66,73 percent against a target of 91,84 percent. The project has been negatively affected by interim payment certificate delays and the Covid-19 pandemic.
The US$1,5 billion Hwange Thermal Power Station expansion programme entails the addition of Units 7 and 8 with each unit expected to generate 300MW in addition to the plant’s 920MW installed capacity. Due to obsolete equipment, which is resulting in constant breakdowns at Hwange, the plant is presently producing less than half of its installed capacity.