GOVERNMENT is forging ahead with the implementation of the US$1,5 billion Hwange Thermal Power Station 7 and 8 expansion project in Matabeleland North province, which is now 80,2 percent complete and is set to impact positively on the wider economy.
Earlier projection indicates the giant power project would likely see the two units coming on board by July and September this year respectively, which will significantly boost the national grid and thereby ease the biting electricity supply gap.
ZESA Holdings is implementing the Hwange Expansion project, which is set to increase the national electricity supply by 600MW.
Its scope of work entails the construction of 2 x 300 units at Hwange Power Station, and power evacuation transmission and distribution infrastructure.
In remarks on Friday during the handover of new Epping Forest homesteads by the power utility to families who have been affected by the construction of the new 400kv transmission line, Matabeleland North Provincial Affairs and Devolution Minister, Richard Moyo, said more progress has been achieved in the project besides delays occasioned by the Covid-19 disruptive impact.
“The national project officially commenced on the 1st of August 2018 and is now 80,2 percent complete,” he said.
“The transmission infrastructure requires a wayleave of 60m, which is traversing from Hwange at Hwange B Substation to Bulawayo’s at Insukamini Substation. From here the lines connect to Marvel Substation all in Bulawayo.
“The transmission line is passing through built up areas which have to be relocated to allow for the 60m wayleave.”
During the event, the minister presided over the handover of 12 out of the 75 new homesteads that are being constructed to compensate affected families.
“The plan has a total of 75 homesteads, with 45 in Matabeleland North Province and 30 in Bulawayo Metropolitan province,” said Moyo.
“In Matabeleland North province, there are two affected households in Hwange District at Dete’s Chezhou village and one homestead at Chilanga village. Tsholotsho District has two homesteads at Bambanani village, Lupane District one homestead at Gwayi Siding and Umguza District has 19 homesteads at Hope Fountain, three homesteads at Kloof Farm, four homesteads at Stevenson Farm, one homestead at Sawmills, one homestead at Epping Forrest Village 2 and 10 homesteads at Epping Forrest village 4.”
The compensation of affected families is in line with World Bank Performance Standards, which demands that national projects should improve the livelihoods of displaced persons affected.
Infact, the standards state that the livelihoods and standards of living of displaced persons must be restored or improved to pre-displacement levels.
Source: Business Weekly