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Faulty units back up, stabilise power supply

SOME electricity generation units at Hwange and Kariba South Power stations that had been affected by a technical fault are back in service after concerted efforts to bring normalcy, acting Energy and Power Development Minister Dr Jenfan Muswere has said.

Similarly, most units are back at Bulawayo, Munyati and Harare thermal power stations, which are already contributing to the national grid.

Consumers have been enduring more than 12 hours of load-shedding, which the power utility blamed on depressed power generation capacity due to faults at some units in Hwange.

In a power supply update yesterday, Dr Muswere said load-shedding hours would be reduced.

“Following the technical challenges that have been affecting our generation units at the Hwange Power Station, I am pleased to announce that there is a return of service of some units that had been affected by a technical fault at the Hwange Power Station,” he said.

“The technical team and management have been making concerted efforts to bring normalcy and enhance sustained generation. Most of the units are back at Hwange with Bulawayo, Munyati and Harare power stations also contributing to the national grid.

“Accordingly, the power utility will further reduce load-shedding and consumers are advised to use the available power sparingly to minimise the prospects of load-shedding.”

Dr Muswere said operations at Kariba South Hydro Power Station were also stable as all the units were now back in service following the recovery from a regional power system disturbance that resulted in a loss of interconnection across the region in the past week.

Zimbabwe’s power challenges had been worsened by the shortage of imports from the region as Hidroeléctrica de Cahora Bassa (HCB) of Mozambique and Eskom of South Africa were experiencing similar power deficits.

Zimbabwe’s power supply presently averages 1 400 megawatts (MW) against a demand of up to 2 200MW.

The deficit is being minimised through imports and load-shedding.

From the major generation plants, Zimbabwe was yesterday generating 1 118MW from Munyati 14MW, Bulawayo 14MW, Harare 11MW, Kariba 827MW and Hwange 252MW.

Zesa said plans were on course for the utility to start importing up to 400MW from Mozambique and Zambia to help improve supply and put an end to the crippling power challenges.

Besides imports, Zimbabwe is expecting to get more power into the national grid from several thermal and renewable power projects that are expected to add 150MW by year end.

The joint venture coal-fired power station being built by Chinese investors and their Zimbabwean counterparts under Zimbabwe Zhongxin Electrical Energy Limited (ZZEE) in Hwange started feeding 50MW into the national grid while 10 other renewable energy projects are expected to provide about 100MW.

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