The Herald (Zimbabwe)

Power generation to increase monthend

- Rumbidzayi Zinyuke Senior Reporter

POWER cuts being experience­d across the country are expected to ease by the end of this month when power generation will increase on the back of two units being brought back to the national grid.

Hwange Unit 7, which produces 300MW, is presently off grid as it is undergoing maintenanc­e, while Units 1 to 6 are being rehabilita­ted.

Responding to media questions during yesterday’s post-Cabinet briefing, Energy and Power Developmen­t Minister Edgar Moyo said Hwange Unit 4 is already back on the grid while Unit 7 would be back by month end.

“We have had outages as a result of Class C maintenanc­e works at Unit 7 in Hwange, which will come back to service around November 27,” he said.

“That should then help us to bring back our 300MW to the grid. We also had the low generation levels of Units 1 to 6 because of their age.

“To mitigate that, we are currently repowering some of those units and we have Unit 4, which came on board yesterday. That added with what we are going to get when we get another unit in Hwange and also the coming back to service of Unit 7 is going to help reduce, but not eliminate load shedding. So generally, towards the end of this month we will see an easing of the load shedding.”

Power generation at Kariba Hydropower Station has also declined owing to low water levels in Kariba Dam.

Zimbabwe is generating 1 300MW against a target of 1 850MW.

Minister Moyo said while Kariba had an installed generation capacity of 1 050MW, it was only producing between 250MW to 300MW.

As rehabilita­tion work at the thermal power stations continues, Minister Moyo said the Government was also aggressive­ly looking at renewable energy as an alternativ­e source of power.

“Some of the measures that we are putting in place to address this poor supply problem is embracing renewable energy through solar and we have a number of companies that have come through.

“At the moment those that have shown seriousnes­s and have gone some way in developing projects are around 20.

“We had meetings with these companies and most of them are already beginning to work on the developmen­t of these solar projects,” he said.

As part of the 100-day cycle project, the Government has made progress on projects that would also help to add power to the national grid.

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Services Minister Dr Jenfan Muswere said the 82km Alaska-Karoi 132kV line power transmissi­on rehabilita­tion project was now at 82 percent completion level.

“The Hakatwa community solar project is at 70 percent completion and is set to be commission­ed before the end of year while constructi­on of the 2 000 tonne Ruwa LPG storage facility has reached 100 percent of completion and the Great Zimbabwe 5MW mini hydro power plant is at 70 percent completion level and is on course to be commission­ed by the 31st of January 2024,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Government is also implementi­ng other projects that are expected to contribute to the country’s economic developmen­t.

Dr Muswere said with regard to the resuscitat­ion of David Whitehead Textiles plant, the installati­on of spinning equipment at the Kadoma plant was now at 95 percent level of completion.

The civil works have reached 85 percent and plant installati­ons are at 80 percent.

“The installati­on of the margarine plant at Willowton Zimbabwe in Mutare is at 95 percent level of completion and installati­on of a stock feed plant at Davipel (Pvt) Ltd, in Harare is 95 percent complete and the commission­ing is scheduled for the first week of April, 2024,” he said.

Other projects that are underway include the installati­on of civil works for the chilled water plant at Dairibord in Chipinge, which is now 10 percent complete and the constructi­on of the Ferrochrom­e Production plant by Zimbabwe Zhongxin Smelting Company, in Masvingo which has reached 100 percent complete, while constructi­on of the power substation is at 90 percent.

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