Improved power supply as Zesa completes unit maintenance

THERE has been improved electricity generation in the country following the completion of maintenance works at one of the units at Hwange Power Station last week with Government saying it remains committed to uninterrupted power supply that feeds into the country’s industrialisation agenda.

Hwange Unit 8 was under maintenance works for a number of weeks and this affected electricity supply leading to minimum load-shedding to mitigate to shortage. Energy and Power Development Minister Hon Edgar Moyo told Sunday News in an interview yesterday that maintenance work at Hwange Unit 8 was complete and power supply in the country had improved significantly.

“Unit 8 at Hwange Power Station had been off for a while undergoing maintenance works. It is now back on line and this is why you realise that electricity supply has improved. What we also have to understand is that at times we get frequent break downs or faults hence it might not be necessarily load-shedding. Load-shedding occurs when we have a mismatch on the supply of electricity and its demand,” said Minister Moyo.

He said in the absence of Unit 8, the power utility had to increase power generation at Kariba Hydro Power Station while effecting minimal load shedding to balance the demand and supply side. Minister Moyo said while the coming back of Unit 8 might have improved electricity supply, the Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) has since reduced production at Kariba due to hydrology issues in order to stretch the generation period up to the end of the year. He said power generation was not always constant as it depended on a number of variables. 

“Our supply is not always constant; it depends on a lot of variables for example at Kariba Power Station we are now reducing productivity due to hydrology issues where water is now very low. We are trying to stretch power generation up to the end of the year. However, sometimes if one of the units at Hwange Power Station has a problem, we increase generation at Kariba. On the other hand, if our units at Hwange are giving us good production, we reduce at Kariba to save water. So it’s never a straight line. As government however, we remain committed to provision of uninterrupted power supply in-order to be able to drive the industrialisation agenda towards an upper-middle-income economy,” said Minister Moyo.

Statistics released by ZPC from 1 September show that Hwange Power Station was generating a maximum of 675 megawatts up to 22 September. During that period, Kariba Power Station was producing up to 925 megawatts.

However, as from 23 September, power generation at Hwange improved with last Wednesday’s production going up to 1008 megawatts. The lowest power generated at Hwange over the past week was 975 megawatts. 

On the other hand, there has been reduced power generation at Kariba in order to save water till the end of the year. Power generation at Kariba over the past week had a low capacity of 399 megawatts with its highest being 706 megawatts. Independent Power Producers (IPPs) are also chipping in with an average of 20 megawatts per day. Yesterday, the country had 1582 megawatts with Hwange producing 970 megawatts, Kariba 586 megawatts while IPPs were producing 26 megawatts. The country’s consumption of power is above 1 800 megawatts per day. – Sunday News