HARARE, Sept. 8 (Xinhua) -- Work of the Kariba South hydro-power expansion project which is being done by China's Sinohydro is now 92 percent complete, with the first of two generators being installed still on course for commissioning in December, a Cabinet minister has said.
Energy and Power Development Minister Samuel Undenge told Friday's The Herald newspaper in Kariba that the commissioning will take place on December 24.
"We applaud the focused work and effort that is being exhibited by the contractor and ZESA management that has seen so much progress," he said.
Power utility ZESA Holdings, through its generating subsidiary the Zimbabwe Power Company, is spearheading the expansion which will add another 300 megawatts into the national grid.
Each of the two generators being installed has a capacity of 150 MW and the second unit will be installed in early 2018.
Work on the 550-million-U.S. dollar project began in 2014 and the first generator will be commissioned in December 2017 and the second one will be ready early 2018.
China Exim Bank contributed 90 percent of funding while the Zimbabwean government contributed the remainder.
Sinohydro will also refurbish the largest power station -- Hwange Thermal Power Station -- to give it a boost of 600 MW and officials say progress has been made towards financial closure to allow work to begin.
The project will cost 1.1 billion dollars and run over 42 months.