Power deficit: Zim engages General Electric

REPRESENTATIVES of General Electric (GE), an American multinational conglomerate and world leader in providing energy solutions, yesterday met President Mnangagwa in New York to discuss various power projects the company is undertaking in Zimbabwe.

Speaking to journalists after a closed-door meeting, president of International Growth Markets at General Electric, Ms Heather Chalmers, described the engagement as positive.

“We discussed various power projects in Zimbabwe, including Hydro,” she said.

In 2019, a consortium comprising Power Construction of China and General Electric won a bid to build the 2 400MW Batoka Gorge hydropower station, about 50km downstream from Victoria Falls on the Zambezi river under a Build, Operate and Transfer model.

The proposed US$4,5 billion project across the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe was set to transform Matabeleleland North as townships with facilities such as banks, shops, private offices and other ancillary infrastructure would be constructed.

The project was envisaged to create 4 000 jobs and provide a third of the two nations’ power needs. Power generated from the station would be shared equally between Zimbabwe and Zambia while the Zimbabwe River Authority, which is jointly owned by the two governments, would be the implementing agent.

ZESA Chairman Dr Sydney Gata, who also attended the meeting between President Mnangagwa and General Electric, said the company was critical to both Hwange Thermal and Kariba hydro power stations.

“We are working together with General Electric in the supply of equipment and spares for Kariba South, the new power station, as well as for Hwange, the old power station,” he said.

Dr Gata added that ZESA expected to work with General Electric in re-powering Hwange unit 6 as well as other projects in Mozambique.

“They (GE) are very good in the entire chain of designing, manufacturing, construction, commissioning and operation.

“Its a unique privilege to be engaged with them (GE) and we thank His Excellency for this opportunity.

“They are our automatic partners because they own the technology,” said Dr Gata.


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