HWANGE Thermal Power Station Unit 7 is today expected to start feeding 300MW into the national grid after a successful reliability run following its sychronisation.
The completion of US$1,4 billion Hwange Thermal Power Station Unit 7 and 8 expansion project which is almost complete, is expected to greatly improve power generation in the country.
Unit 8 sychronisation which was supposed to start last Tuesday, had to be postponed due to technical challenges encountered when it was connected to the national grid.
Unit 7 is expected to be run on a commercial basis starting today and this is a milestone development which is set to ease the country’s load shedding.
Energy and Power Development Minister Soda Zhemu said Unit 7 and 8 were expected to start feeding 600MW into the national grid before the end of this month.
The country is already witnessing reduced load shedding due to improved power generation which has seen the country surpassing 1 000MW total output from as low as 300MW recorded in February this year.
The Kariba Hydro Power Station which almost shut down due to low water levels last year, is now producing about 500MW.
The completion of the Hwange Thermal Power Station expansion project is another milestone achievement worth celebrating as it will drastically reduce the country’s electricity import bill.
The project is one of the flagship projects being implemented by the Second Republic.
Minister Zhemu has however, bemoaned increased cases of vandalism of power infrastructure which he said is gobbling millions of dollars every year.
He said the Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company (ZETDC) continues to spend millions of dollars meant to fund other projects on replacement of vandalised infrastructure.
Minister Zhemu said ZETDC was spending a lot of money to replace transformers and other infrastructure destroyed by vandals.
He said in a bid to fight vandalism, ZETDC had introduced drones to assist in its surveillance and this has led to a number of arrests.
Minister Zhemu said there is a need to come up with deterrent sentences.
President Mnangagwa recently described as treasonous the increased cases of vandalism of critical infrastructure that the country is witnessing.
He said there is an urgent need to bring these acts of sabotage to an end as they are disrupting service delivery in many sectors of the economy.
We have said it before that the vandals whose actions are negatively impacting on our lives live within communities and should be flashed out.
Communities should therefore join hands with the police and ZETDC in fighting vandalism.
The country cannot continue to spend millions of dollars every year to replace vandalised infrastructure. This money being spent on replacement of vandalised infrastructure is supposed to fund new projects to improve people’s livelihoods.