President Emmerson Mnangagwa says the supply of sustainable power is a key requisite for development and modernising of the economy.
The President was delivering his keynote address at the US$1.5 billion Hwange Thermal Power Station Expansion Project Ground-Breaking Ceremony held in Hwange today.
“Electricity is key to revival of our industries. With adequate power, hunger shall never again visit Zimbabwe. Government is incurring a huge import bill, hence increasing internal power generation capacity is critical,” said President Mnangagwa.
He noted that the Hwange Unit 7 and 8 expansion project comes after the commissioning of the Kariba South Hydro Power Project in March this year, which added 300mw to the national grid, adding that this project signals the government’s resolve to develop the country.
President Mnangagwa says government stands ready to facilitate foreign investment, and urged local companies to engage in joint ventures and partnerships.
He challenged business to seek mutually beneficial and sustainable development in the communities they operate in.
President Mnangagwa highlighted that the project will create 3000 jobs, including in downstream industries, urging ZESA to give priority to the local people.
Cde Mnangagwa urged financial accountability by ZESA, ZPC and partners during the execution of the project to ensure it comes to fruition.
He commended the strong bilateral ties between Zimbabwe and China and hailed China’s continued support.
“Our cooperation with the people of China has reached another level, that of comprehensive and strategic scope of partnership,” he said.
President Mnangagwa said the recent bomb explosion at a Zanu PF rally in Bulawayo will not deter government from modernising the country.
He assured Zimbabweans and investors that they remain safe, reiterating that Zimbabwe is open for business.
Reiterated that devolution of power is on the cards and provinces will be required to come up with strategies of developing their areas.
The Hwange Thermal Power station expansion project is being undertaken by Chinese firm Sino Hydro which won the tender. The project is expected to be completed within 42 months.
Hwange Unit 7 and 8 will on completion add a combined 600 megawatts to the national grid.
President Mnangagwa ends his address by assuring Matabeleland North Minister of State Cde Cain Mathema that his request for Hwange’s elevation to municipal status will be granted, revealing that the Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing Cde July Moyo will be dispatched to facilitate the matter.