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Hwange Unit 7 to come on grid on 16 March – Minister Soda

The new Unit 7 at Hwange Thermal Power Station is expected to come on the grid on 16 March while Unit 8 is expected to come on line April.

This was said by the Minister of Energy and Power Development Minister, Soda Zhemu on Wednesday during the National Assembly question and answer session, reported The Herald.

He was responding to a question by Chegutu West MP, Dexter Nduna (ZANU PF) on what Government was doing to address power blackouts that worsened this week. Said Soda:

According to ZESA, Unit 7 shall be tied on the grid on the 16th of this month while Unit 8 will come on board a month later.

Soda blamed the ageing equipment at Hwange Power Station the for the electricity crisis. He said:

This week we noticed there was a depressed power supply which was occasioned by unfortunate outages at Hwange and we lost three units from the 23rd of February.

This is a result of the age of the equipment which we have always spoken about.

The equipment is now very old, the power station was constructed a long time ago and the equipment is now due for replacement at Hwange power station.

It is unfortunate because these outages are not planned. If they were planned outages, then warnings would have been sent by the power utility.

Soda also said the water level at Kariba Dam was rising and was now at 14 percent of live storage. He said:

We hope this will inform the allocation of water for power generation when it’s due for review in a fortnight.

National Assembly Speaker Jacob Mudenda said there was a need for Soda to bring a comprehensive ministerial statement on the power crisis.

On Wednesday, 01 March 2023, the Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) was generating a total of 352MW.

Kariba was producing 280MW while Hwange was generating a paltry 72MW. – (Pindula)

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