ZIMBABWE’S State Procurement Board (SPB) has awarded a consortium of companies the contract for the construction of the 30MW Gairezi hydroelectric power plant. The tender was awarded to the lowest bidder at a total project cost of $128 million. The consortium, led by Intratrek, also includes Indian companies, Bharat Heavy Equipment and Angelique International.
State owned Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA) was granted the licence to carry out the project in 2014. ZESA received a total of 84 bids for the project and bidders were asked to show their financial capability to carry out the project. Three companies were shortlisted for the final round with the contract eventually awarded to the lowest bidder.
The project, which is expected to be completed between 25 and 35 months, will add an additional 30MW to Zimbabwe’s available capacity currently standing at 1,100MW. The project will see the installation of two 15MW hydroelectric turbines damming the Gairezi River in the eastern part of Zimbabwe.
The poor situation of power plants in Zimbabwe means the company has to embark on an increased amount of load shedding. While most of the areas in the Harare and Chitungwiza region are connected to the electricity grid, most of the country’s rural areas are still unconnected, and for the connected households power cuts can stretch for long periods. ZESA has identified several projects to ramp up production, however, the country’s economic situation could make private investment difficult with requisite policy support.