The Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA), says it has resuscitated five of the six Hwange units which had broken down, bringing some relief to Zimbabweans who have been experiencing excessive load shedding.
ZESA said the restoration of generation units at Hwange Power Station as well as improved imports after depressed generation caused by the dropping water levels at Lake Kariba which resulted in reduced power generation, is likely to bring relief to its customers.
But still questions continue to be raised that stitching up the dilapidated generation units at Hwange can it be taken as a sustainable approach moving forward.
The equipment is decades old, some companies that used to supply spares for such have since closed down and according to recent comments by ZESA executive chairman Dr Sydney Gata, the plant is operating because of the ingenuity of the engineers.
Just recently, Hwange Power Station had two units operating.
But in a statement, ZESA said the power utility had managed to resuscitate five of the six aging units at Hwange which broken down.
“ZESA Holdings is pleased to advise its valued stakeholders of the increasing electricity supply in the country, which has resulted in reduced load curtailment across all our customer segments. Our Engineers and Technicians have been working frantically to ensure increased power generation,” it said.
“Consequently, we have increased generation at the Hwange Power Station by getting the broken down Units back up, resulting in Five (5) of the Six (6) (generating units) being currently operational which has increased supply to the national grid.”
This will help ease the demand supply gap during the festive break as we also anticipate reduced demand from business,” ZESA said, adding that electricity imports had also been secured.
“We have successfully managed to secure the injection of additional imports from other SAPP members to support supply until the Kariba reservoir recovers in the first quarter of next year.”
“We would like to express our profound gratitude for the support and commitment we got from the Government to mobilise the much needed foreign currency.
“Accordingly, ZESA would like to assure its valued customers that they will not experience the aggressive load curtailment they have been experiencing in the past few weeks during the festive period. The utility is conversant of the need to guarantee supply to the nation, and thus we not only have measures to mitigate the emergency but also opportunities to increase capacity and to improve service delivery”, it said.
The Hwange Power Station expansion 7 and 8 which is set to bring an additional 600MW to the national grid has been delayed, said ZESA.
“Our valued stakeholders are advised that Hwange 7 and 8 commissioning preparations are well on course. To date, it is pleasing to see that the technical tests are progressing well and the Utility expects the first additional 300 Megawatts from Unit 7 soon.
“Every indication is that it has been built well. We are treading cautiously on the technical aspects so that we energize robust machinery, hence the need to follow all comprehensive commissioning
tests,” said ZESA.
In as much as ZESA makes efforts to enable the humongous plant run at limited capacity, sustainable solutions are in multiple power plants run by solar, water, gas, coal, diesel and wind.