HWANGE – Zimbabwe’s reduced power supply is being caused by the shutdown of Hwange Unit 6, it was revealed on Tuesday.
The coal-powered generator was shut down for renovations on Friday last week and is not expected to be switched back on until at least Thursday this week.
After years of enduring power cuts lasting up to 15 hours, Zimbabweans enjoyed a period of steady supply in the run-up to last month’s general elections after the successful addition of Units 7 and 8 generators at Hwange. The two generators produce 300 MW each.
The Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) on Tuesday said the country was generating 1,343 MW of power, with Hwange contributing 543 MW and the hydro-powered Kariba Power Station 800 MW.
“We shut down Unit 6 to attend to a problem of vibration,” a ZPC source told ZimLive, asking not to be named as they were not cleared to discuss the power situation, describing it as “sensitive”. “After the shutdown we allow a cool-off period of about two days before work can begin. We expect to get it back up on Thursday or Friday, regaining about 150 MW.”
Zimbabwe has a peak power demand of around 1,800 MW. The country supplements Hwange and Kariba generation with power from independent power producers who have built solar farms, as well as small thermal power stations at Bulawayo, Harare and Munyati which are currently offline. – ZimLive