Zimbabwe: Zesa to construct Mutare, Triangle line

Jun 02, 2016 12:00 AM

ZESA Holdings intends to construct a new electricity distribution line linking Mutare and Triangle at a cost of about $150 million and has already invited bids from interested companies to undertake the project, spokesperson Mr Fullard Gwasira said yesterday.

To be known as Orange Groove-Triangle, the tender for the 300-kilometre 400kV line will enhance reliability and efficiency of the electricity transmission system."We are enhancing our grid . . . to improve quality of supply," said Mr Gwasira in an interview.

Zesa will also spend $14 million to upgrade Alaska-Karoi line to a 132kV from 33kV.

Mr Gwasira said the power utility had realised that some of the existing lines had become inefficient.

Zesa has been working on projects aimed at expanding electricity generation to bridge the gap between supply and demand. These include expansion of Kariba Power Hydro Station, Hwange Thermal Power Station and rehabilitation of small thermal stations.

Zesa is also working on emergency power plants and solar projects to improve power availability.

Zimbabwe is facing a deficit of 400MW against a peak demand of 1 400MW.

The revamped Alaska-Karoi line and the new Mutare-Triangle line are expected to work efficiently for half a decade.

"A lot of effort in the past few years was geared towards stabilising generation at the power stations, vis-a-vis the national grid," Mr Gwasira said.

"ZESA is now also focusing attention to the national grid whereby we have a lot of cables which are now faulting and carrying loads which are far more than they were designed for.

"For instance, all infill housing projects in the suburbs were not catered for in the original design specification."

Last month, Zesa completed the refurbishment of its power evacuation system at Kariba Power Station at a cost of about $14 million. Power evacuation is a critical function that allows generated power to be immediately evacuated to the grid for distribution.

Zesa, through its transmission subsidiary ZETDC has contracted Helcraw, a local firm, to undertake the project.

The project, funded by Afrochin, involves replacement of old cables and the associated equipment to increase off-take of electricity from the power station and to make the asset insurable as well as to eliminate the risk of fire to the equipment.

There is anecdotal evidence that there is huge wastage of electricity due to use of old and inefficient distribution and transmission system.

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