via Hwange refurbishment halfway through: ABB | The Herald August 15, 2014
SWISS technology company ABB has completed about half the refurbishment work on Hwange thermal and Kariba South hydro power stations.
The refurbishment exercise is expected to enhance the plants efficiency and lifespan.
Country manager Mr Charles Shamu said about two fifths of the work had so far been completed in what would extend the equipment’s lifespan to their original life of up to 30 years while enhancing efficiency.
The upgrades started in 2010 and are expected to be finished within two years. Mr Shamu said the facelift will reduce frequent breakdowns and operating cost.
“We are proud of our involvement with some of the most critical infrastructure projects in Zimbabwe,” Mr Shamu said adding, “We will continue to do what it takes to meet the dynamic needs of our customers.”
Breakdown of power generation and transmission equipment often causes supply interruption for days, weeks or months on end in Zimbabwe, worsening the demand power deficit caused by limited capacity.
Mr Shamu was speaking during an interview yesterday on the sidelines of ABB’s technology day to facilitate interaction with customers and stakeholders in what could define the future of the power and energy industry.
“Once the projects are completed, the plants are given 25 to 30 years lifespan, which is the original design lifespan of the equipment,” Mr Shamu said.
“Most of the equipment was installed around independence, so it’s past or almost past recommended lifespan,” he said.
Mr Shamu could not give figures on the cost of the refurbishment work for the Hwange Power Station and Kariba power plant, since in stances the customer purchased own equipment, but he said the project cost millions.
ABB recently completed another major power infrastructure project for the Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company, a unit of Zesa Holdings, involving installation of a Static Vahr Compensator critical in preventing power flow disruption due to power surges.
It was against this background that Mr Shamu said ABB had capacity to provide a range of power solutions and latest energy equipment to help companies for optimal efficiency and conservation in energy use or generation.
ABB, which operates in 105 countries across the world, hosted the event to explore trends in the energy sector and the event was attended by local, regional and international experts to share insights on the industry.