Hwange power station generation declines
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