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Covid-19 triggers load shedding

30 Aug 2020 at 08:30hrs | Views
LOAD shedding being experienced in the country is set to continue as experts who are meant to fix technical problems at some of the country's power generating stations are failing to travel due to restrictions put in place to curb the spread of Covid-19.

Most countries in the world have closed their borders resulting in limited travels across countries as a way of restricting the spread of the disease. Newly appointed Minister of Energy and Power Development, Hon Soda Zhemu told Sunday News yesterday that the major challenge was in Hwange where two units were now out of service as they were due for their annual overhaul. He said technical experts from outside the country who were contracted to service the units had been failing to travel to Zimbabwe due to the Covid-19 necessitated lockdown restrictions.

"Unit three and six are due for their annual overhaul. Unit three is meant to be serviced by South Africans while Unit six by Italians, I am confident that with the easing of lockdown regulations these experts can travel to the country to undertake the work that needs to be done. Engineers are also working on a tube leak that was experienced at Unit two of which if it's fixed it will see the power supplies being vastly improved because our current deficit is just between 50 and 70 megawatts," said Minister Zhemu.

He commended Zesa engineers who had moved swiftly to address a technical fault that was noted at Hwange's Unit five which saw a further 150 megawatts being added to the national grid on Friday.

"If you realised as of Friday the load shedding period had considerably decreased, that is because of the additional 150 megawatts that we got from the repaired Hwange Unit five. Regarding Kariba Power Station the technical challenges have been addressed as it is now feeding 925 megawatts into the national power grid," said the minister.

In a statement, Zesa had said the technical challenges at the two power stations had resulted in the limited power supplies to the national electricity grid.

"Zesa would like to advice its valued customers countrywide of the continued limited power supply on the national electricity grid as a result of technical faults at Hwange and Kariba power stations. Load curtailment will continue being exercised during the morning peak (5am to 10am) and the evening peak (4pm to 8pm) across the country. Customers are advised to use the available power sparingly as the power utility works towards restoration of service to optimum levels. Customers will be updated as the situation improves," Zesa said.

Zimbabwe has been enjoying uninterrupted power supply since end of March, but the technical faults have resulted in power cuts being introduced across the country. Meanwhile, according to the Ministry of Health and Child Care, as at Friday, the country had recorded 6 388 coronavirus cases with 96 news cases recorded on the day and six deaths. Recoveries countrywide stood at 5 043 (78,9 percent) and 195 deaths.

Source - sundaynews
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