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Energy minister says power situation to improve end of March

Energy and Power Development minister, Soda Zhemu, has said Zimbabwe’s power situation is set to improve at the end of March when an additional 300 megawatts of power are obtained from the refurbished Hwange Unit 7.

Responding to questions in the National Assembly last Wednesday Minister Zhemu said:

We are getting a capacity of around 170 megawatts from South Africa and the contract still subsists despite the power supply situation that is in South Africa. We are still able to obtain power from South Africa. As for the mitigation measures that the Government of Zimbabwe has put in place in the event that South Africa one day gets to a situation where they will not be able to give us power, already the expansion of Hwange Power Station will give additional power supply of around 600 megawatts from Unit 7 and 8. I indicated the readiness of Unit 7 from which we will be getting 300 megawatts before end of this month (March) and another unit will be following after a month to give us a total of 600 megawatts being fed into the grid.

He said there are plans to rehabilitate the existing units at Hwange Power Station, that is, Units 1 to 6 to get them back to the installed capacity of 920 megawatts.

The Hwange units are generating a combined 387 megawatts coming from Hwange Power Station.

Acting Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company (ZETDC) Managing Director Engineer Howard Choga is on record as saying the country’s electricity consumption is at 1 850 megawatts.

Analysts say due to constant breakdowns at Zimbabwe’s largest coal-fired power station, which has seen output falling to less than 9 per cent of its designed capacity of 920MW in recent days, there is little hope that units 7 and 8 will change anything. – (Pindula)

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