Zesa explains load-shedding

via Zesa explains load-shedding | The Herald September 23, 2015 by Abigail Mawonde

ELECTRICITY generation at the country’s power stations has plummeted to 984 megawatts against daily demand of 2 000MW, resulting in increased load-shedding and unscheduled power supply disruptions countrywide.Most suburbs are going for almost 24 hours without electricity in Harare, forcing residents to resort to alternative energy sources such as solar, LP gas and wood, while others use generators. Industry has also been badly hit by the power outages, leading to lost production time and reduced capacity utilisation.

The Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority yesterday said it would release a detailed statement on the power situation today when The Herald sought an explanation as to what had caused increased and prolonged blackouts. A statement released by Zesa’s subsidiary, the Zimbabwe Power Company, on its website on Monday showed that all was not well at major power stations.

The generation status report indicated that Hwange was generating 414MW, Kariba 500MW, Harare Power Station 30MW, Munyati 22MW and Bulawayo 18MW, translating to a mere 984MW for the whole country. On generation constraints, the ZPC said at Hwange Power Station Unit 1 was taken out on 20 July for internal boiler leak repairs.

“Repair works were completed but on attempting to return the unit to service, the machine tripped on rotor earth fault protection. The rotor was dried and upon attempting to bring the unit back to service on August 16 2015 at 0144hrs, the rotor earth fault alarm came up again. As from August 19, 2015, the unit is now on statutory maintenance and excitation upgrade that will last for five weeks,” the ZPC said.

The ZPC said Unit 5 at Hwange was also taken out of service on September 19 “for spray water control valves and ID fan repairs”. The unit is expected back in service today (September 23). Unit 6 that was down returned to service on Monday. At Harare Power Station, Station 2 was shut down on August 27.

“The station is now awaiting repowering project to replace the boiler technology. Boiler 3 is on precipitator repairs,” said the ZPC. At Bulawayo Power Station, Boiler 5 is on statutory inspection while Boiler 7 was taken out of service on September 18 for refractory repairs. The ZPC said at Munyati Power Station, Boiler 5 had a suspected boiler tube leak, Boiler 6 on statutory, grate and economizer repairs while Boiler 8 needed a dumping bar replacement.

Boilers 7, 9 and 10 also require attention. “Kariba Unit 5 is currently switched off for water conservation,” said the ZPC. Hwange Power Station has capacity to generate 920MW, Kariba 750MW, Munyati 100MW, Bulawayo 90MW and Harare 50MW. Low water levels at Lake Kariba have affected electricity generation in Zimbabwe and in neighbouring Zambia.

The two countries share electricity from Kariba. Government is making frantic efforts to increase power generation in the country as a key enabler in the economic turnaround. One such effort is the expansion of Kariba South Power Station, commissioned by President Mugabe in September 2014. The massive project is expected to generate an additional 300MW by 2017, a development that should help ease power challenges that have hit industry and also affected winter wheat farming.


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    grabmore 7 years ago

    Why does the Herald journalist not ask Zesa to explain when the chefs are going to repay the hundreds of millions of dollars that are missing?

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    Farai 7 years ago

    The incompetent idiots at ZESA turned off both Hwange and Kariba on the 1st of September, this shows absolutely no planning!!! In addition the power generation figures in this article are nonsense and at max capacity Hwange is more than 50% lower than the Herald claims. The looting and corruption has now reached such an endemic level that millions of Zimbabweans have power for a maximum of 4 hours a day. This is economic sabotage and heads should roll!!!!

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    R Judd 7 years ago

    35 years in power and these ZANU numbskulls have not built a single power station. What did they think was going to happen?

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    puzzled 7 years ago

    Good business practice, lets load shed the people who pay up front for prepaid units and give power 24/7/365 to the people who don’t pay. Pay day is creeping up, how r they going to pay their HUGE wage and perks bill with so little revenue coming in. How is it that some areas get no load shedding what so ever and are no where near any essential service providers????

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      FromTheHip 7 years ago

      I don’t know about others but when I paid my usual amount for my pre-paid meter this week, I somehow had less units allotted to me on my voucher (after the various deductions) compared to a month ago. Perhaps there will be some creative re-alignment of deductions.

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    william mills 7 years ago

    To answer Michelle’s question: no; non; nada!

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    Fundani Moyo 7 years ago

    This is how ZIMASSET works; it will turn around the fortunes of this country to stone age. “Where there is no vision, people perish”! “Cry the Beloved Country”.

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    exZim 7 years ago

    What did Zim have before candles ? Electricity.

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    I am sure these people are never told or updated about the bad situation. They only read about it in the papers. How are they supposed to know the situation when they have electricity 24/7 inlcuding the ZESA big bosses which electricity is given to them free of charge unlimited.

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    Bloody sanctions!

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    Johann 7 years ago

    ZESA. You don’t have to explain why there is no power. Everyone knows why and that’s what the free democratic vote is for!