Current Power Outages Will Be A Thing Of The Past: Energy Minister Soda Zhemu
Good news Zimbabweans!
Energy and Power Development Minister, Soda Zhemu has assured the nation that power supplies would improve in the coming days as interventions are being implemented to restore normal generation at Hwange Thermal Power Station.
The country has been experiencing power outages as a result of depressed generation mainly at Hwange due to old equipment that is overdue for service.
Power utility, Zesa is producing 270 megawatts (MW) from Hwange and 890MW from Kariba hydro. An average of 200MW is imports against a national demand of 2 200MW.
Speaking to The Chronicle on the sidelines of a tour of the Hwange units 7 and 8 expansion project, Minister Zhemu said engineers at Hwange Power Station had completed the refurbishment of unit 5 and were awaiting delivery of diesel to start up the generators for it to be back online.
Three units are currently in service and doing between 260 and 270MW, which is actually inadequate considering the power demands in the country. So far, we are expecting unit 5 to be back on service anytime once diesel is made available, which we heard is on its way. In the next 2-3 days unit 5 will be back to service. Once that unit is back online then the current power outages will be a thing of the past. Yes, we know there is work going on at units 3 and 6 and arrangements to have the experts coming back into the country.
Zhemu also told The Chronicle that he hopes that once units 3 and 6 are brought into service by next month and December, the country will meet its power requirements for the productive sector and household consumers.
He said delays on progress at units 7 and 8 expansion projects as well as the existing units was due to the outbreak of Covid-19, which caused lockdowns that affected foreign travel by engineers after the December holiday.
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