The Sunday News
Vusumuzi Dube, Online News Editor
ZIMBABWE surpassed its quarterly target of power generation by over 18 percent, a development that has been attributed to improved reliability and plant optimisation at Hwange Power station.
In a power update statement, the Zimbabwe Power Company revealed that Hwange generated with four units for the bulk of the quarter while all eight units at Kariba were available for peak generation on most days.
“The quarterly target which was set at 1885.30GWh was surpassed by 18.55 percent. This is mainly attributed to improved reliability and plant optimisation at Hwange, as well as increased generation at Kariba hydro power station to cater for high system demand.
“Hwange generated with four units for the bulk of the quarter while all eight units at Kariba were available for peak generation on most days. The small thermal power stations missed their target which was pegged at 47.50GWh by 45.17 percent due to lack of coal stocks and low plant availability which resulted in the stations shutting for a total of 142 days during the quarter,” reads the update.
ZPC further noted that Kariba Power Station contributed 70 percent of the total energy production in the period under review, four percent of which was exported to NamPower. “Hwange Power Station contributed 29 percent while the Small Thermals only contributed one percent to the total energy production. Kariba Power Station contributed more than planned as it was ramped to meet high system demand and compensate for low generation at the small thermal stations.
“The Zambezi River Authority (ZRA) allocated 22.5Bm3 of water for power generation to ZPC for the year 2022. This translates to 5 312GWh and an average capacity of 606MW. As at the end of the first quarter, the station consumed 6.5Bm3 of water against a target of 5.1Bm3,” said the power utility.
In terms of Lake Kariba levels, ZPC revealed that it increased from 478.39 metres at the beginning of the quarter to 478.81 metres at the end of March 2022. This therefore representing a 0.42 metre rise in lake level over the quarter.
“Although the Hwange seven and eight expansion project has faced delays predominantly caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, the project is proceeding smoothly and is on course to commission Unit seven at the end of November this year, while unit eight is expected to feed into the grid in April 2023. The project is currently at 83 percent complete.
“The construction of a second pipeline and upgrade of the existing Deka pump station commenced on 1 October 2021, with the expected end being 31 March 2023. The US$48million dollar project is being implemented in parallel to the Hwange Unit seven and eight Expansion project, and is expected to solve the perennial water supply problem at Hwange Power Station, the country’s largest coal-fired power plant,” reads the statement.
The scope of the Deka power station project includes the construction of a new 42 kilometre, 960 millimetre diameter pipeline from Deka High Lift pump station to Hwange Power Station; complete with independent cathodic protection, supply of spare pumps and motors, supply of spares for Deka Low lift and High Lift pump stations, new SCADA and field instruments, refurbishment of ZINWA Water Treatment Plant in Hwange, and provision of three tap off points for supply of raw water to the Deka community.
Regarding the Bulawayo Power Station, ZPC revealed that they have initiated negotiations with the Bulawayo City Council on ownership issues and the matter has since been escalated to the Ministry of Local Government and Public Works for assistance.
“ZPC is stirring towards the use of renewable energy for power generation in order to achieve ZERO harm to the environment. Some of the projects on the cards include Gairezi Hydro Power Plant and Batoka Gorge Hydro Power Project.
“The Batoka project, which is being jointly developed by the governments of Zambia and Zimbabwe through Zambezi River Authority, has a capacity of 1 200 MW with an estimated cost of US$2.3 billion,” reads the update from ZPC.