Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Zimbabwe: China Exim Debt Holds Up Power Project

Zimbabwe: Debt Holds Up Power Project
By Martin Kadzere
The Herald, 10 December 2012

THE Kariba South hydro expansion programme hangs in the balance after it
emerged that Sino Hydro, a company awarded the tender for the project,
might not get funding from a Chinese bank as Zimbabwe is in arrears with
the institution.

According to a report by the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Mines
and Energy, Zimbabwe owes Chinese Exim-Bank US$27 million for
agricultural equipment acquired through the Industrial Development
Corporation and Farmers' World. Government has now directed the national
power utility, Zesa Holdings, to pay the debt.

"Government should be encouraged to pay this debt of US$27 million so
that the project of expanding Kariba South can take off the ground,"
said the report.

"Sino has indicated that it will not release funding for Kariba South
from the Chinese Eximbank until the US$27 million has been paid off."

Energy and Power Development Minister Elton Mangoma referred all
questions to Finance Minister Tendai Biti, who could not be reached by
the time of going to print.

The extension of Kariba South station was scheduled to start early next

It would add 300 megawatts to the national grid.

Government will soon announce a contractor for the expansion of Hwange
Power Station.

The two last bidders for the project are finalising their commercial
evaluations, said Minister Mangoma.

Zimbabwe generates an average of 1 200MW, against a demand of 2 200MW.

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