Sino Hydro and ZPC sign on for Kariba hydroelectric power project upgrade

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Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) has signed a US$400 million agreement with China’s Sino Hydro to upgrade and expand the national utility’s Kariba hydroelectric project, adding an additional 300 MW to the current capacity of 750 MW. This rehabilitation project will help ease the energy shortage in Zimbabwe due to a lack of hydropower investment.

The upgrade and expansion includes the design and construction of two additional generator units to the current six, each contributing 150 MW to the station’s capacity. The upgrade will begin in 2013 and will require four years to complete.

“We are looking forward to this project to improve power generation in the company going forward,” says Victor Gapare, ZPC board chairman.

The majority of the project is to be financed by the Export-Import Bank of China, with the rest coming from area banks and regional financiers.

The agreement was signed on December 20, 2012.

In related news, Sino Hydro has also signed an agreement to develop the 600-MW Kafue Gorge Lower hydropower plant in nearby Zambia.

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