The Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) plans to use water from Khami dam for power generation and has since written to the Bulawayo City Council for permission to do so, it has emerged.
BY SILAS NKALA
According to the latest council minutes, ZPC managing director, Noah Gwariro wrote to council that the power utility was working on a project to increase electricity generation output at Bulawayo Power Station from the current 30 megawatts (MW) to 90MW.
“The project entails replacing the existing 10 chain grate boilers by two new circulation fluidised bed combustion (CFBC) boiler units (2x45MW). These new boilers will require 11 mega litres (ML) of process water every day in order to achieve the required electricity generation capacity,” reads the letter.
“We, hereby, apply for water supply facility, whereby Bulawayo City Council supplies 11ML of raw water to Bulawayo Power Station to satisfy the new boilers’ requirement.”
The engineering service department minutes stated ZPC and BCC were already engaged on the matter at a technical level.
“Under the proposal, ZPC rehabilitates the Khami Water Treatment Plant and installs a new pipeline of adequate capacity from Khami Dam to Bulawayo Power Station. ZPC would then recover the cost of these works through a structured cost recovery system to be agreed upon by both parties,” Gwariro said.
“Although the actual cost of the Khami water treatment plant and the installation of the pipeline will be known once the tenders have been finalised, the request is for a water supply agreement that incorporates the principles of the cost recovery scheme as mentioned above. The Bulawayo Repowering Project secured a line of credit facility from the government of India. This funding can only be accessed once ZPC has demonstrated that it has in turn secured agreements for all key inputs, water included.”
ZPC said the project was urgent, adding that while an Indian company has been contracted for the job, locals were expected to benefit from employment opportunities offered by the entire repowering project.
“Furthermore, the abstraction of raw water to the power station will enable the city to enhance service delivery through channelling treated water to other areas needing treated water,” wrote ZPC. “The Bulawayo Power Station repowering project is expected to commence in the third quarter of 2016.”
The engineering department recommended that ZPC be allowed to rehabilitate the Khami Treatment Works as per their request.
It also recommended that a water supply agreement, beneficial to both parties, be drafted and signed and cover aspects of cost recovery as requested by ZPC, and that the infrastructure remains under the ownership of BCC.
It recommended that BCC should have full authority over the treated water and reserve the right to supply any excess water to other applicants and, thereafter, the acting town clerk advised that currently council supplied ZPC pump stations with clean water, while Khami Dam was not utilised as the water is highly-polluted.
The council resolved that ZPC be allowed to rehabilitate the Khami Treatment Works as per request.