HARARE, August 30 (The Source) – The Infrastructure Development Bank of Zimbabwe (IDBZ) said on Tuesday it had raised $50 million towards the expansion of the Kariba South Hydroelectric Power Station.
The power station is undergoing an upgrade to add 300 megawatts to the plant’s current capacity of 750MW. The expansion is expected to be completed early 2018.
Zimbabwe currently generates just over half of its peak 2,000MW electricity demand and uses expensive imports to cover the gap.
About $500 million is required to complete the project, being undertaken by China’s SinoHydro. China is also providing the bulk of the funding, although Zimbabwe’s state-owned power utility Zesa is also required to put up a portion of the project’s costs.
The IDBZ, which has the mandate of raising funds for the development of the country’s infrastructure, has been helping secure funding for the project.
It is also actively involved in the refurbishment of the Harare Power Station, where it announced Tuesday it was just awaiting for details before moving in to scout for funding.
IDBZ chief executive officer (CEO), Thomas Sakala told analysts during a presentation of the bank’s financial results for the year ended December 2015 that the bank had raised $50 million for the Kariba expansion project.
“The entire $50 million for the expansion of Kariba South Power Station has now been raised,” Sakala told the analyst briefing in the capital.
“We are still waiting for clarity on the financing requirements for Harare Power Station.”
The presentation also gave an update for the half year to June 30, 2016.
“In the first half year period to June 2016, the bank has recorded a profit of $0,2 million anchored by increased income from long term business. Long term business is now contributing 42 percent of total income,” the IDBZ said in the update.
“In May 2016, the bank’s major shareholder, the Government of Zimbabwe, injected $20 million capital into the bank and a further $3 million is expected from other shareholders.”
Of the new capital, $2,5 million has been allocated to set up the project preparation and development fund meant to ensure that priority infrastructure projects are developed to bankability, through funding of feasibility studies.
The bank is further proceeding to raise capital from strategic partners locally, regionally and internationally with an objective of achieving $250 million in capitalization by 2018 in line with the bank’s vision of becoming a $1 billion bank by 2020, the IDBZ said.