ZPC to start Harare re-powering project

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Source: ZPC to start Harare re-powering project | The Herald February 15, 2019

ZPC to start Harare re-powering project Members of the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Energy and Power Development at the Harare Thermal Power Station yesterday. – Picture by Innocent Makawa

Golden Sibanda Senior Business Reporter
The Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) will start re-powering project for Harare Power Station (generator number 2) in the first quarter of this year, which will add 60 megawatts to the national grid and further cut imports.

This comes after the US $ 533 million Kariba South Power Station expansion, which was completed in March last year added 300 megawatts to the national power grid, whittling daily electricity imports from an average of 450MW to just 50MW.

Zimbabwe's peak demand period stands at 1,600MW against internal generation of 1,400 – 1,500MW, but with the economy currently being subdued, Government continues to invest in building capacity as demand growth when the economy recovers.

Current investment in building internal power generation will stabilize domestic power supply, make Zimbabwe self-sufficient on power, build excess capacity to export and save the country.

ZPC, the generation unit of ZESA state power utility, is implementing the re-powering project.

ZPC project manager Emmanuel Manyau told a portfolio of committees on mining and energy, which toured Harare Power Station yesterday for familiarization, that the project was ready to start after ZPC had secured a $ 176 million loan.

However, Mr Manyau said $ 176 million from Afreximbank, only US $ 52 million had been earmarked for the Harare Power Station.

Mr Manyau said the project would cost US $ 104 million, but the contract with Jaguar Overseas of India, which would cost US $ 70 million.

It is expected that the re-powering project will take two years to complete, barring unforeseen challenges since the engineering procurement and construction (EPC) contract was already in place after an agreement signed with Jaguar Overseas of India in 2014.

Apart from reducing the country's need to import power, the Harare Power Station will re-power the project to enable the country to reduce internal power deficit, improve efficiency and reliability.

"Our objective is to revive Harare Power Station number two. Currently, we have Harare Power Station 3, and that is the one that is operational. Harare Power Station number 2 (was) de-commissioned (in 2014), so that is where our project is focused.

"This project is ready to begin, why do I say so? The feasibility study has been done, we have signed an EPC contract with Jaguar, we have an environmental impact assessment of EMA (and) a water supply agreement was signed with ZINWA for the steam turbines, "Mr Manyau said.

The scope of the re-powering project involves the replacement of nine-pin grate boilers with new technology, which is called circulated fluidized combustion boilers.

The new technology will add two boilers, which will replace the nine boilers.

Each of the boilers will have capacity of 30 megawatts and the new technology comes with advantages of its own, which is the reason the power utility resolved to adopt it.

Mr Manyau said the new technology of the boiler system had higher efficiency, which means that it can be used at the thermal power station.

The other advantage is flexibility in terms of fuel; These types of boilers are flexible in the type of fuel they can work with. They can work with high quality and the poorest of quality, which allows you to get fuel from the various local mines.

The system produces low sulfur oxide and nitrogen oxide emissions, which are harmful substances and major environmental issues.

Part of the scope of the re-powering project to refurbishment of turbines and generators, which would not be changed after a life assessment that was done 15-20 years ago on the life of the generators and turbines.

"So it was cost effective to keep them, a total of four; two are 10MW and other two 20MW to make a total of 60MW. Our projected start date, we are projected to start in the first quarter of 2019 and we are also projecting to end, all things being equal in the first quarter of 2021, "Mr Manyau told the parliamentarians.

"We anticipate that this project will provide an improvement in generation, which will in turn close the gap that we have in our supply and demand of power.

"As you know we have a (power) deficit, so this (re-powering) project for 60MW will significantly cover the deficit that we have, especially if you look at the peak time deficit.

"We will be able to have our station running as base load.

"We also anticipate the creation of employment and the implementation of this project will be fully implemented and will require more people to man it."

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