The implementation of the US$ 14M Mutirikwi power project, under which a modest 5MW mini-hydro power plant will be constructed at Lake Mutirikwi, has begun.
Reportedly, the largest privately-owned contracting company in Zimbabwe, J.R. Goddard (JRG) Contracting, which was subcontracted to construct the Mutirikwi power project site access roads by Great Zimbabwe Hydro Power Company, has already started mobilizing its personnel and equipment for the execution of the contract.
The project’s second phase, which will follow the construction of access roads, will transition to substantial civil works, which will include the construction of a powerhouse and a penstock to transmit water to turn turbines in the former. The last phase will involve the construction of a 25-kilometre evacuation path that will be linked to a Zesa substation.
Mr Hubert Chipfumbu, Great Zim Hydro Projects Coordinator Executive, recently said that his company’s internal and external partners helped the power project attain financial close, allowing construction to begin. The entire Mutirikwi power project will be completed by mid-next year upon which it would be the latest in a string of tiny private stations feeding the national grid.
Mutirikwi power project to create employment and enhance the availability of clean energy
Mr Chipfumbu stated that his firm is devoted to making a positive difference in the lives of the communities surrounding Lake Mutirikwi, which mostly consists of villages from the Mugabe, Murinye, and Chikwanda communities lands.
He said that his business purposefully chose to draw its pool of inexperienced labour from areas surrounding the dam. Great Zim Hydro has now hired 14 locals, with the number expected to grow as the project takes up and staggers towards completion. The contractor working on the access roads has also hired some locals among the roughly 100 people currently present on site.
Ezra Chadzamira, Minister of State for Masvingo Provincial Affairs and Devolution praised the power production project, calling it one of the province’s “low hanging fruits.” The minister stated that the hydropower project will create employment and enhance the availability of clean energy as the government moves toward the eco-friendly green economy envisioned in Vision 2030.