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Hwange Power Station Unit 7 put into commercial operation

by Staff reporter
28 Jul 2023 at 06:43hrs | Views
TRIALS have ended for the new Hwange Thermal Power Station's Unit 7 which has now been successfully put into commercial operation to provide an uninterrupted 300MW electricity supply to the national grid while Unit 8 is expected to be at full throttle soon, adding an additional 300MW for domestic and industrial consumers.

This comes ahead of the expected commissioning by President Mnangagwa, of the two new power generation units, bringing an end to long hours of loadshedding which have bedevilled the Sadc region in the past couple of years.

Unit 7 was successfully put back on the grid last month adding 300MW to the national output as the country puts measures to ease load-shedding which will boost industrial activity.

Since the end of March, Zimbabwe has been enjoying increased power generation following the successful synchronisation of Hwange Unit 7.

The 300MW Hwange Unit 7 had been disconnected from the grid for system evaluation before beginning the final commissioning phase.

Power China, which carried out the multi-million-dollar project, yesterday posted on their Twitter handle that Unit 7 had been successfully fed into commercial operation.

"Unit number 7 of the Hwange Power Station Expansion Project obtained the COD (Commercial Operation Date) certificate, which certifies that Unit number 7 was officially put into commercial operation at 0:00 on July 27 (yesterday)."

Industrialists have welcomed the development saying it will go a long way in expanding their productivity and contribute to the development of the country's economy.

Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI) president, Mr Kurai Matsheza, said putting Hwange Power Station's Unit 7 into commercial operation would boost the industrial sector.

"It is a welcome development that gives industries electricity on an uninterrupted basis," he said. "We will be operating effectively thus expanding the industrial sector in the country. We are looking forward to the smooth running of electricity but we have a bigger worry of the hydrology at Kariba Dam.

"Nevertheless, we have seen improved power supplies and we welcome the development and we want it to continue.  We hope that the situation continues and will remain uninterrupted."

Retailers echoed the same sentiments and said putting Hwange Power Station's Unit 7 into commercial operation was a relief to their operations. President of the Confederation of Zimbabwe Retailers (CZR) Mr Denford Mutashu said the development would save foreign currency as the country would no longer be importing electricity.

"Unit 7 of the Hwange Power Station has been put into commercial operation in a huge relief and welcome development to not only the retail and wholesale sector but the entire economy.  CZR applauds President Mnangagwa for fulfilling the restoration of power and energy availability.  After eliminating fuel queues the President has now eradicated perennial electricity challenges," he said.

Consumers have also welcomed the new development saying it complements the supply of power at household level.

Mrs Rosemary Mpofu executive director Consumer Council of Zimbabwe (CCZ) said the move on Hwange Power Station Unit 7 was a big relief to consumers who were enduring power outages and having to source, invest in alternative sources of energy such as solar, generators at a cost.

"There will be an uninterrupted supply of electricity at household levels as consumers store perishables unlike buying daily ratios that prove to be expensive in long term since power availability had improved of late," she said.

"This will also help in budgeting as they can plan monthly expenses on amounts they will use on energy unlike previous scenarios where they had to readjust budgets owing to intermittent power cuts, thus affecting planning, those who have small businesses that require electricity will benefit immensely at household levels due to constant supply

"As CCZ we keep encouraging service providers to provide regular communication and updates on any infrastructure challenges, updates, and renovations as consumers have a right to information as that will assist them to be aware of what is happening and plan accordingly.

"At the same time we urge consumers to use power sparingly so as not to overburden the national grid, and invest in clean energy such as solar."

Coupled with increased water allocations at Kariba Hydro Power Station, the country's electricity situation has significantly improved with combined output hovering around 1 200MW, recovering from the lowest of below 400MW early this year.

Source - The Herald