HARARE - Intratrek Zimbabwe (Intratrek) and Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) have signed a deal to construct a $128 million hydro plant to help address the country’s chronic power shortages.
The water-powered Gairezi Hydropower Dam project will generate 30 megawatts (MW) of electricity.
Intratrek, which won the tender in conjunction with its Indian Consortium partners Bharat Heavy Electrical (BHEL) and Angelique International, said the project would benefit the Gairezi people during and after the construction phase.
“We are now going to hit the ground running and we will ensure that the financial closure phase is executed without delay so that construction takes place soon,” Intratrek managing director Wicknell Chivayo said at the signing ceremony in Harare on Friday.
The company, which recently clinched a $200 million solar project and a $113 million Munyati refurbishment project, is slowly becoming one of the most dynamic and critical firms in Zimbabwe’s energy sector.
Zimbabwe relies on old hydro and thermal-fired plants for its power but the country experiences daily electricity shortfalls due to lack of investment in the energy sector.
The country requires a daily average of 2 200MW but is producing less than 1 000MW — resulting in companies and households spending close to 12 hours without electricity.
Speaking at the same occasion, ZPC managing director Noah Gwariro said he was delighted at the opportunity unveiled by the Indian firms to transfer skills and technology which will benefit his organisation to do bigger hydro projects in future. BHEL is the leading Indian hydro turbine manufacturer boasting an annual turnover in excess of $7 billion in 2014, while Angelique International operates in over 34 countries round the globe and posted top line earnings of $300 million in 2014.
Energy experts say coming 18 months after the initial request for bids, the historic contract marks the first specifically hydropower dam construction project in the post-independence Zimbabwe.
The latest development also brings to an end months of speculation following a protracted process that started with a competitive bidding process which eliminated over 80 prospective bidders leaving six firms, Pito Investments, China Gezhouba/Chongqing Turbines Consortium, Intratrek Zimbabwe/BHEL/Angelique Consortium, Helcraw Investments, Sino Hydro and China State Construction/Dongfang to compete for the tender
In addition to submitting robust technical submissions and a proven track record on small hydro projects, the six companies were expected to present credible funding options to convince the cash-strapped ZPC.
It was a tightly-contested two-stage tender process , and after the first round of adjudication, China Gezhouba/Chongqing Turbines Consortium, China State Construction/Dongfang and Intratrek Zimbabwe /BHEL/Angelique Consortium bids were adjudged to be technically and funding compliant, and hence proceeded to the second round.
Information gathered by the Daily News shows that the final round, the accounting officer was obliged under the terms and conditions of the request for proposal to nominate the most competitive bid based on lowest tender sum resulting in the bid led by Intratrek walking away victorious.