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Mnangagwa allays fears of power shortage

by Staff reporter
02 May 2022 at 07:55hrs | Views
PRESIDENT Mnangagwa has allayed fears of a power shortage in the country as the Second Republic is ramping up power generation efforts, which would ultimately increase national energy output.

Government is implementing several projects to enhance power supply such as the Hwange Thermal Power Station expansion project, which entails the addition of Units 7 and 8 expected to add a combined 600MW to the national grid.

By year-end, Hwange Unit 7 will come on stream, adding 300MW to the national grid with Unit 8 set to follow by March next year to give another 300MW.

Power is not only sufficient for the country's present needs, but will also suffice for an industrialised Zimbabwe as envisaged by the economic growth that is being planned in line with Vision 2030 that is set to transform Zimbabwe into an upper middle-income economy.

The projects themselves are designed to support the country's industrialisation drive by generating the required electricity.

Adequate power supply will push forward the country's rapid industrialisation with Zimbabwe poised to become an exporter of electricity as new coal and gas generation capacity being planned or commissioned by private and public initiatives in Hwange come on stream.

Most importantly, the projects will also play a critical role in the Government's devolution strategy which is aimed at improving standards of living, creating jobs and generating wealth in the provinces.

Writing in his weekly column in Chronicle's sister papers, Sunday News and The Sunday Mail, President Mnangagwa said investments in the energy sector continue to match the country's expanding economic activity.

"Clearly our investments in energy match the expanding economic activity we continue to witness and envisage.

Besides, we have power imports options we can always bring to bear should demand for power exceed installed supply capacity," he said.

"Fears around power deficit are thus not a factor anymore."

The President said anxieties around power supply constraints have eased, with more power units under development in the country.

"By year-end, Hwange 7 will come on stream, adding some 300 megawatts to our grid.

Hwange 8 is set to follow by March next year, to give us another 300 megawatts," he said.

"Smaller thermal stations in Bulawayo are being refurbished and upgraded.

We also have several solar projects at different stages of development."

In March, President Mnangagwa commissioned the US$7,3 million SolGas Energy solar power plant at Cross Mabale in Hwange district.

The plant, which is the biggest grid-connected solar power plant in Zimbabwe, has started feeding 5MW solar energy into the national grid.

The project is the third independent power producer-developed solar project to be connected to the national grid and the country's largest.

The investment is in line with the National Renewable Energy Policy which targets increasing the contribution of renewable energy to the electricity supply mix from about six percent in 2019 to 27 percent by 2030.

Government has also stepped-up efforts to boost power generation through the implementation of the 2 400MW Batoka Hydroelectric Plant while the expansion of Kariba South added a further 300MW to the grid.

The President also officiated at the groundbreaking ceremony for the construction of a US$48,1 million 42km pipeline which will supply water to Hwange Power Station from Zambezi River.

The 962mm pipeline will run parallel to the existing one used by Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (Zesa) for water supply to the power station and Hwange community.

Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (Zesa)

The Deka Pipeline will increase water supply to the power station from the current 3 500 cubic metres to 6 000 cubic metres per hour.

The project is expected to be completed in March next year, in time for commissioning of the Zimbabwe Power Company Unit 8 expansion.

This will be sufficient to supply the expanded power station after completion of Unit 7 and 8 projects.

The Second Republic interventions under the stewardship of President Mnangagwa, have, consistent with the National

Development Strategy 1, continued to be centred on scaling up the implementation of key projects with priority being on completing the ones, which had stalled for years.

Source - The Chronicle