THE Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) has begun US$40 million refurbishing Hwange Thermal Power Station Unit 3 to restore 120 megawatts to the national grid.
ZPC said the project was at 31 percent and is expected to be complete by March.
The refurbishment is being done using funds from the Africa Export-Import Bank (Afrexim) although some delays in disbursements affected the pace of implementation.
“Currently, Units 1, 2, 4 and 5 are generating about 400MW. The addition of Units 3 and 6 will see an increase of electricity by 260 MW.
“This will mitigate suppressed power generation due to reduced generation at Kariba Power Station caused by low water levels,”said ZPC..
“Completion of Unit 3 is likely to be around March 2020 if everything goes according to plan.”
The refurbishment of Unit 3 comes at the same time construction for Unit 7 and 8 is ongoing and is expected to be completed in two years, adding 600 MW to the national grid.
Hwange Power Station has a capacity of 920 MW, making it the second largest power plant in the country after Kariba which generates 1 050 at maximum output.
Hwange’s capacity has been reduced to 400 MW due to obsolete equipment.
The country has been battling acute power shortages. To improve electricity supplies, the Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority (ZERA) has been licensing a number of independent power producers focusing on solar and mini-hydro power plants.