ZimFund’s Emergency Power Infrastructure Rehabilitation Project to Improve Reliability and Availability of Electricity in Zimbabwe

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The Zimbabwe Multi-Donor Trust Fund (ZimFund) launched the physical implementation of the sub-transmission component of the Emergency Power Infrastructure Rehabilitation Project (EPIRP) by hosting a kick-off meeting at the African Development Bank (AfDB) Field Office in Harare on April 24, 2013. The meeting marks the end of the procurement process and the beginning of the physical implementation stage of this component, valued at US $8.56 million. This component is one among three works components to be implemented under the Fund’s overall US $35-million Emergency Power Infrastructure Rehabilitation Project.

The objective of the EPIR Project is to improve the provision of adequate and reliable power supply in an environmentally sound manner through the rehabilitation of the Ash Plant at Hwange Power Station and the sub-transmission and distribution facilities in the country. Once complete, the rehabilitation of the sub-transmission and the distribution networks will improve system reliability and allow the restoration of supply services to about 22,000 customers in various neighbourhoods across the country that presently have no access to electricity services.

The sub-transmission rehabilitation component comprises the replacement of seven faulty power transformers and 16 faulty circuit breakers at 88 kV and 132 kV substations scattered throughout the country. Transformers will be replaced at Norton, Mazowe, Atlanta (in Murehwa), Pomona and Stamford (in Harare), Mpopoma and Criterion (in Bulawayo) substations, adding a total of 345 MVA transformer capacity to the grid. Circuit breakers will be replaced at Sherwood (near Kwekwe), Gweru, Zvishavane, Victoria Falls, Marvel (in Bulawayo), Kadoma and Zisco substations.

The other works component of the EPIR Project whose contract has already been awarded is the rehabilitation of the distribution network throughout the country whose kick-off meeting was held last month. The first progress meeting for this component was hosted at the AfDB Harare Field Office on April 23, 2013. This component will see the installation of over 500 pole-mounted distribution transformers, 280 kilometres of overhead distribution lines and about 20 km of underground cables. The third works component being the rehabilitation of the ash plant at Hwange power station is at tender evaluation stage. This entails the replacement of various pumps, motors, pipes, cables and other accessories for the ash handling plant. There will also be a new Environmental and Social Management Plan for Hwange Power Station that will be based on a thorough audit of the plant and its impact on its environs.

In addition to the power project, ZimFund is also supporting the Urgent Water Supply and Sanitation Project (UWSSRP) to the tune of US $29.65 million, which will rehabilitate water supply and sanitation plants in the municipalities of Mutare, Chegutu, Chitungwiza, Harare, Kwekwe and Masvingo.