Hwange power sta­tion gen­er­a­tion de­clines

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Business Chronicle - Oliver Kazunga

POWER gen­er­a­tion ca­pac­ity at Hwange Ther­mal Power Sta­tion has dropped to about 280 megawatts against an in­stalled ca­pac­ity of 920MW.

The Zimbabwe Power Com­pany (ZPC) in­di­cated in its daily power pro­duc­tion up­date that the big­gest ther­mal power plant was pro­duc­ing 282MW as of yes­ter­day.

The util­ity would not re­veal the cause for the dras­tic de­cline in elec­tric­ity gen­er­a­tion.

In the past, the coun­try’s coal-fired power plants, in­clud­ing Hwange, have ex­pe­ri­enced sub­dued gen­er­a­tion ow­ing to con­stant tech­ni­cal faults on equip­ment due to old age.

ZPC manag­ing direc­tor En­gi­neer Noah Gwariro could not be reached for com­ment on his mo­bile phone. Zesa spokesper­son Mr Fullard Gwasira’s num­ber was also not go­ing through while the firm’s chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer En­gi­neer Josh Chi­famba would not be drawn into com­ment­ing as he was said to be busy.

As a re­sult of de­pressed gen­er­a­tion, at times, do­mes­tic and in­dus­trial con­sumers have had to en­dure long hours of load shed­ding.

How­ever, since the be­gin­ning of 2016, the Gov­ern­ment has tamed power cuts by bridg­ing the power sup­ply gap with im­ports from re­gional pro­duc­ers.

The Gov­ern­ment has said it is work­ing on a num­ber of ini­tia­tives aimed at boost­ing power sup­ply and up­grad­ing ex­ist­ing gen­er­a­tion in­fra­struc­ture.

Plans are un­der way to ex­pand the Hwange Ther­mal Power plant by in­stalling ad­di­tional units 7 and 8 at a cost of about $1.4 bil­lion. Chi­nese firm, Sino Hy­dro has won the ten­der to do the project whose fi­nan­cial clo­sure is set to be fi­nalised be­fore end of the year.

The up­grad­ing at Hwange is ex­pected to see 600MW be­ing added to the national grid.

How­ever, last month Zesa an­nounced that progress on the fund­ing agree­ment for Hwange Power Plant has been stalled by about $7,2 mil­lion that Zimbabwe owes a Chi­nese insurance firm.

The insurance com­pany has in­sisted that it will not guar­an­tee the loan un­til the coun­try clears its debt.

Upgrade work is al­ready un­der­way at Kariba South Hy­dro ex­pan­sion project, which will add 300MW to the national grid. The project is more than 50 per­cent com­plete and is ex­pected to be com­mis­sioned in 2018.

The Gov­ern­ment through the Zimbabwe En­ergy Reg­u­la­tory Author­ity has since 2010 li­censed about

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