Mukudzei Chingwere Herald Reporter
ONE of the power generating units at Hwange Thermal Power Station was fixed yesterday to boost the country’s unity capacity by more than 150MW, Energy and Power Development Minister, Soda Zhemu has said.
Hwange has six power generating units, which supply the national grid with more than 900MW if they are all functioning, but two of the six need to be repaired by international companies.
For some time now four have been operating, but after the latest fault only two were left functioning, causing a sharp shortage to the national grid.
However, yesterday the other one was repaired and the fourth one is still being worked on by local engineers. Speaking to The Herald yesterday, Minister Zhemu confirmed the latest developments. “The fault on other units at Hwange had caused the power depression, but as of this morning (yesterday) we managed to have the other unit serviced, meaning that we now have three units working.
“The forecast deficit for the day now is very low with the other unit now working, and we are expecting the situation to improve in terms of power supply.
“The fourth one is still being looked at by local engineers,” he said. “There is an overhaul being done at the other two units, the other one is being done by South Africans and the other by Italians, but this was disturbed by the Covid-19 restrictions.
“They cannot come, but now that the situation is improving in terms of infections, there are plans that they come to do the work, and all the necessary protocols to avoid the spread of the virus will be done and they will also be tested as per Covid-19 containment regulations.” zesa had publicised a message to electricity users notifying them of the expected power shortages, which sent the public into panic mode.
But, Minister Zhemu said the intention was not to cause unnecessary panic, rather the communication was to prepare the electricity users for the depressed supplies.
The idea of regularly communicating is for people to prepare, other users are business people so it is important for them to know that there might be power outages so that they are ready for them instead of being caught unawares.
“Again the appeal and message we are sending is that we need to use electricity sparingly and all this needs to be communicated when we have or expect disruptions in power supply,” said Minister Zhemu.