Energy and Power Development Minister Zhemu Soda has said the commissioning of two new units at Hwange Thermal Power Plant, that is units 7 and 8, “is complex”.
This comes amid indications that the state-owned power utility, ZESA Holdings, has missed several deadlines to commission the units and ease load shedding in the country.
Last week, Soda said the synchronisation of Unit 7 for it to come on board was “almost complete.” He said:
A lot of processes are involved; these include testing the performance compliance levels at various production levels.
You need to understand the behaviour of the plant; say when it is producing 100MW, or 200MW.
So even when we switch them on, we still have to do all those processes and when that is done, we can then start producing at a commercial scale.
Soda said the COVID-19 pandemic also delayed the commissioning of units 7 and 8 as technicians from China could not travel to Zimbabwe.
He added that Sino Hydro, the company contracted to build 7 & 8 had subcontracted ABB to conduct testing of the protection system but due to the resurgence of the pandemic late last year, the technicians failed to travel to Zimbabwe.
When the technicians eventually arrived, it took time for them to understand the system and they also needed to be reinforced by a team from South Africa. – (Pindula)