ELECTRICTY supply is set to improve countrywide starting this week following full restoration of power generation at Hwange Power Station, a Cabinet Minister has said.
This follows erratic power supply and load shedding of up to seven hours daily that had been witnessed in different parts of the country over the past few weeks. Since August 10, engineers have been hard at work at Hwange Power Station to repair a technical fault that resulted in the loss of 440 MW at Zimbabwe’s largest thermal power plant.
The fault at Hwange had resulted in a significant deficit of power supply to the national grid thereby triggering outrage from both domestic consumers and the business sector, which says the shortages are encumbering production.
However, Energy and Power Development Minister Soda Zhemu on Friday told our Harare Bureau that power generation at Hwange has been restored to about 450 MW capacity daily, taking the national generation capacity per day to over 1 500 MW.
Minister Zhemu said the Government is also ready to source for more imports whenever there are major faults that affect the national grid. Zimbabwe’s power imports mainly come from its neighbours, South Africa and Mozambique.
According to the Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC), the country was generating a combined total of 1 269 MW as at Friday.
Kariba had the highest output at 890 MW followed by Hwange at 337 MW. Bulawayo, Munyati and Harare power stations weighed in with 18 MW, 13 MW and 11 MW respectively. Independent Power Producers also continue to contribute varying amounts of electricity to the national grid.
Despite intermittent power shortages, the future is bright for Zimbabwe’s power sector with the country poised to be self-sufficient in terms of its power requirements as a number of new projects are taking shape. China’s Sinohydro is currently constructing the Hwange Power Station 7 and 8 units, which are expected to be complete next year and will add 600MW to the grid.
Another 2 400MW project — Batoka — is being jointly pursued with Zambia and is expected to take off in the next few years. Furthermore, a number of coal and coal-bed methane projects, predominantly in Hwange, will add up to 2 000 megawatts into the national grid in the next few years.