$500mln Dema power project stalls

$500mln Dema power project stalls

HARARE, May 27 (The Source) – Sakunda Holdings the private firm contracted to set up a 200 megawatt emergency diesel power plant in Dema by government says it will not meet the June deadline due to delays in clearing some of its equipment at the Beitbridge border post.

The project was mooted by government last year as a measure to ease Zimbabwe’s acute power shortages which saw households and industry endure rolling power cuts that helped decimate local industry.

Sakunda Holdings chief executive Kudakwashe Tagwirei told officials from the Office of the President and Cabinet after a tour of the plant on Thursday that the project would exceed its 8 week time frame because of delays at the border by customs officials.

Beitbridge is the country’s busiest border with South Africa.

The project commenced in May and the first 100MW was expected to come online on by the end of June.

“We have about 85 trucks stuck at the border and we will be having another 144 trucks by the end of the week. The 85 trucks should have left the border by the 23rd but they have been there for a week. So the challenge is the longer they take at the border (means) we are going to have delays in implementing this project,” Tagwirei said.

“Right now the last 50MW of this project will go into July because of the 2 week delay.”

The contract is valued at $498 million. Fossil Construction has been sub-contracted to undertake the civil works while Glasgow-based emergency power specialists Agrreko will provide the equipment and technical expertise.

Tagwirei said the power would be sold off to the power utility Zesa at 15,45 cents per kilowatt with room for the price to go down once production efficiencies are improved.