Feature UNIT 7and 8: Hwange Power Station expansion project

By Rutendo Mapfumo and Tichaona Mataruse


It only took five years for the Second Republic to refurbish and expand the leading thermal
power station which was built 40 years ago. Before expansion the country faced serious
power black outs and outages, a situation which was affecting the nation economically.
But, in 2018 the Second Republic under President Emmerson Mnangagwa, a
groundbreaking ceremony was held to kick start the expansion of Hwange Power station
which came with the introduction of new units, Unit 7 and 8 as well as the refurbishment of
Unit 1-6.
Built at a cost of about US$1,5 billion by a Chinese contractor, the expansion project brought
a lifeline to the aged Hwange power station.
The constructed two new units, Hwange 7 and 8, will add a combined 600MW which will add
to the existing 920 MW from unit 1-6.
However, the expansion project of the Hwange Unit 7 and 8 did not only benefit the nation
on power generation but has given the community of Hwange hope.
Job Creation
More than 50 000 people from both the local community and international community directly
benefited from the project through employment and provision of various supplies.
A Chinese Contractor Sino hydro employed a number of the Hwange community, as
Engineers, Machine operators as well as Plant operators.
Provision of water.
The expansion of the power station came with the need of upgrading a 42km pipeline which
will create a redundancy for the existing water supply system to Hwange power station for
sustainable power generation. This has benefitted communities along the pipeline who now
have constant water supplies.
The upgrade led to the construction of a new pipeline from Deka river to Hwange town, and
rehabilitation of the existing pumping station.
The pipeline has increased the current water supply from 3500m3 to 6000 m3 per hour
which will meet the demand of water in Hwange thermal power plant as well as the
surrounding areas.
According to Chief Hwange, Communities in ward 10 and 9 will benefit from the water
supply. The project will also mean job creation for the communities.
Water shortage in Hwange communities will soon be over. It is a great opportunity for the
community of Hwange, the establishment of the 42km of the pipe means Hwange will soon
be a green belt which will also see schools, a clinic and a dip tank benefiting from the water
according to Chief Hwange.
Relocation Action Plan
The expansion of the Hwange Power station meant that there was a need for more space for
new transmission lines.

ZPC is also engaged in the construction of homes under the Relocation Action Plan (RAP), a
compensatory housing project for the community whose homes were affected by the new
transmission line for the Hwange Expansion Project.
A total 72 houses will be built while some have already been handed over to affected
families. Some 29 houses at Hope Fountain were commissioned to the affected areas which
consist of a three-roomed main structure made up of a lounge and two bedrooms.
In Ingagula township more than 400 households next to ZPC power station will require
relocation to avoid air pollution from the electricity generation activities.
The Hwange Local Board has given ZPC land and ZIM BUILD, a construction company, has
already started to build the houses for the families who are yet to relocate from Ingagula
Local Business Opportunity.
Farmers from the surrounding areas in Hwange are benefitting from the project. The high number of
employment has paved a way for more business opportunities. Vegetable farmers have an increased
clientele. The international community working on the expansion prefers chicken which in return is
good business for those in the Chicken business.
Rural Electrification
The expansion project has brought a massive socio –economic transformation. In addition to
contributing to the national grid, a number of rural schools have been electrified, an achievement
which has been long overdue, thanks to the Second Republic.
The project’s positive impact dovetails with the Second Republics drive to transform
Zimbabwe into an upper middle-income economy by 2030.
It is a critical economic enabler beyond increased power generation, the project has
increased coal production in the mining industry.

Comments are closed.