Contract to expand Zimbabwe’s largest coal-fired plant terminated

China Machinery and Engineering (CMEC) has had its contract to expand the Hwange coal-fired power plant terminated by the Zimbabwean government after failure to meet scheduled times.

The government has now awarded the coal power plant tender to Sinohydro Group Ltd., China’s biggest builder of hydroelectric dams and the second-highest bidder.
CMEC was awarded the $1.3bn contract by state-owned Zimbabwe Power Co to expand the plant back in 2012. The project involves building two 300 MW units, adding to the existing 920 MW of present capacity.

The Chinese company “failed to conclude the contract within the stipulated time frame” according to Energy Minister Dzikamai Mavhaire.

The country is expanding power-generation capacity to curb blackouts that have paralyzed mines and industry. It produces an average of 1300 MW of power compared with peak demand of 2200 MW, resulting in daily rationing and electricity cuts.

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