Fairness Moyana in HWANGE
Power supplies are expected to improve in the next few days, as a number of measures are being implemented to restore normal generation at Hwange Thermal Power Station.
The country is facing power outages due to depressed generation mainly at Hwange because of ageing equipment.
zesa is producing 270 megawatts (MW) from Hwange and 890MW from Kariba Hydro, while an average of 200MW is imported. The national demand presently stands at 2 200MW.
Speaking on the sidelines of a tour of the Hwange units 7 and 8 expansion project on Thursday, Energy and Power Development Minister Soda Zhemu said engineers at Hwange Power Station were working towards bringing unit 5 online, with repairs having been completed.
“Three units are currently in service and doing between 260 and 270MW, which is actually inadequate considering the power demands in the country,” he said. “So far, we are expecting unit 5 to be back on service anytime once diesel is made available, which we heard is on its way.
“In the next two to three days, unit 5 will be back to service. Once that unit is back online then the current power outages will be a thing of the past. Yes, we know there is work going on at units 3 and 6 and arrangements to have the experts coming back into the country.”
Minister Zhemu expressed hope that once units 3 and 6 were brought into service by next month and December, the country will meet its power requirements for the productive sector and household consumers. He said delays on progress at units 7 and 8 expansion project, as well as the existing units was due to the outbreak of Covid-19, which caused lockdowns that affected foreign travel by engineers after the December holiday.
Minister Zhemu said the ministry made recommendations for the energy company to invest in modern technology and use of coking-gas for firing and stabilisation of generators to augment the expensive fuel.
Briefing Minister Zhemu, Zimbabwe Power Company acting general manager, Engineer Tom Chuma said refurbishment of unit 5 was complete and was awaiting delivery of diesel to start up the generators for it to be back online.