The Sunday News
Rutendo Nyeve, Sunday News Reporter
THE country is set to witness an ease in load shedding with Hwange Power Station’s Unit 7 expected on board on Tuesday coupled by the reduction of demand due to closure of industries and schools for the festive season, the Government has said.
The country has been experiencing depressed power generation after Unit 7 tripped two weeks before it was due for Class C maintenance. In an effort to reduce the time-out, Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) had to combine the inspection and repair works of the actual displacement unit together with the Class C maintenance which is set to be completed on Tuesday (28 November).
In an interview with Sunday News yesterday, the Minister of Energy and Power Development, Cde Edgar Moyo said the country would witness an ease in load shedding with the coming in of Unit 7 and owing to reduced demand as most industries and schools would soon be closing for the festive holidays. He said while Unit 7 would be coming up on Tuesday, Unit 8 would be taken off as it was also due for Class C maintenance.
“Unit 7 will be synchronised this week by Tuesday or Wednesday following the completion of maintenance works. After a few days, Unit 8 will be taken off the grid for similar maintenance works. However, we expect to witness reduced demand for electricity as most industries and schools close for the annual holidays. As such we want to leverage on this to maintain this unit but overall, it should translate to eased load shedding. Actually, one of the units carrying about 80 megawatts came through, another one will be coming through in a day or two’s time with 120MW,” said Minister Moyo.
Speaking to our sister broadcaster ZTN yesterday, Zera board chairperson Mr David Madzikanda said Zesa Holdings was financially constrained to import the required electricity shortfall from neighbouring countries while small power stations situated in Harare, Bulawayo, and Munyati were not generating much. He also said power generation at Kariba was very much depleted largely because of low water inflows.
“We have not been able to import as much as we should be, because if we were importing, we would be filling in the gap. The other reason why we have been having depressed power supply is that the old power stations which are in Harare, Bulawayo and Munyati have not been running consistently,” said Mr Madzikanda.
Zimbabwe requires 1 850 megawatts per day and on Friday the country was generating 1 285 megawatts, with 41 megawatts coming from independent producers, while Kariba and Hwange were producing 570 megawatts and 674 megawatts respectively. -@nyeve14