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Zimbabwe load shedding to ease by end of November

by Staff reporter
12 Nov 2023 at 11:41hrs | Views
THE Government has assured the country of reduced load shedding by the end of November when one of the units at Hwange Power Station comes on board following depressed electrity generation at all power stations in the country due to hydrological issues as well inspection and repairs of some of the units at Hwange.

The Minister of Energy and Power Development, Hon Edgar Moyo, said they have already put in place a roadmap which had been adopted by Cabinet on how they intended to deal with the energy problem through to 2025 that would see the elimination of imports, increase in solar outlay as well as repowering units one to six at Hwange to increase the efficiency of power production.
"We are going through depressed generation in all our power stations in the country at the moment. The fist reason is the hydrological issues at Kariba Dam. Our water levels have gone so low thereby depressing generation at Kariba. Our normal storing capacity at Kariba is 1050 megawatts but we are currently running between 250 and 300 megawatts and that is already a depressed generation. 
"Secondly, coming to Hwange, which is our other major generation point, we recently commissioned Units 7 and 8 and those units have given us a combined output of 600 megawatts but two weeks back, Unit 7 tripped and that was two weeks before it was due for Class C maintenance. So, in an effort to reduce the time-out, we had to combine the inspection and repair works of the actual displacement unit together with the Class C maintenance which is going to run up to the end of this month," said Minister Moyo.
He said they were expecting to bring on board Unit 4 which was also down due to some faults on 21 November.
"We are going to begin to experience reduced load shedding at the end of November when Unit 7 comes on board. We are working on repowering Units 1 to 6 and each time we are repowering these units, we are going to be taking one unit out at a time. Once it is repaired, we take another unit. 
"It is going to take a little bit of time, but however, we are banking mainly on independent power production projects that are ongoing and can give up to about 600 megawatts. 
"Between Units 1 and 6 which are also at Hwange, we are expecting to bring on board Unit 4 which was also out due to some faults that had developed and it will come on board on the 21 November. That will add a bit on the generation of power". We are also working on bringing in more imports into the country although they are draining our foreign currency. 
"We are currently negotiating with our neighbouring countries and we have been able to raise our imports from South Africa and Mozambique," said Minister Moyo.
He said in the medium to long-term, the idea was to increase solar outlay where different independent power producers who have presented their projects should be able to come on board at the beginning of the first quarter of 2024.
Turning to the overuse of allocated water in Kariba, Minister Moyo said for this year, they have been careful not to overuse the water so that they could run generators at Kariba up to the next inflows. Minister Moyo said the country's installed capacity in all generation areas amounts to 3 050 megawatts and the peak demand was normally around 1 850 megawatts, adding that in terms of installed capacity versus expected demand, the country was doing well, but noted that generation of power was not a constant phenomenon. 
"It goes up and down depending on a number of variances, one of which is old equipment which frequently breaks down, where sometimes it is difficult to get spares in good time and then experience long times of outages."
He said the country was generating around 1 300 megawatts, giving about 500 megawatts of power supply deficit, hence load shedding. 

Source - sundaymail