Improved power generation boosts production…Hwange produces bulk of electricity in Q1

Nqobile Bhebhe, [email protected]

HWANGE Power Station produced the bulk of the country’s electricity in the first quarter amounting to 1696,4GWh, representing 75,4 percent, a major development that has stabilised power supply benefiting industry.

The business community has commended the Government for improved electricity generation which has boosted production as it has reduced load shedding.

Businesses say the increased generation is the ingredient needed to spur growth, especially in the manufacturing sector which together with others like mining and agriculture is expected to play a leading role in the attainment of an upper middle-income society by 2030.

The Second Republic improved the country’s power generation capacity when it expanded Hwange Thermal Power Station’s unit 7 and 8 at a cost of US$1,4 billion. The Government secured funding from China in 2018 for the project.

This is one of the Government’s signature projects that has changed people’s livelihoods and aligns with the core objectives of NDS1.

The project scope involved installation of two electricity generating units, each having a net output of 300MW and the construction of two new 400kV substations (330kV Sherwood 400/330kV Hwange B Substation) a 400kV 310km transmission line from Hwange to Insukamini in Bulawayo.

Another 40km long transmission line has been established from Insukamini to Marvel in Bulawayo. This effectively means the Hwange Thermal Power station complex (Units 1-8) now has an installed generation capacity of 1 520MW.

In its latest update on the Index of Electricity Generation 1st Quarter 2024, Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency (ZimStat) said Hwange was followed by Kariba Power Station which generated a total of 440,5GWh of electricity constituting 19,6 percent of the total electricity generated during the quarter.

Independent Power Producers (IPPs) generated 5,1 percent of the total electricity generated. The report notes that a total of 505,4GWh of electricity was imported in the first quarter, reflecting a 33,3 percent increase on a quarter-on-quarter basis from 379,1GWh imported in the fourth quarter of 2023.

About 35 percent of the imported electricity was obtained from HCB (Mozambique) 23 percent, ZESCO (Zambia) 28 percent, EDM (Mozambique) 11 percent and DAM (Southern Africa Power Pool) 3 percent.

The volume of electricity exported in the period under review was 89,4GWh, a 14,4 percent decrease from 104,5GWh exported in the 4th quarter of 2023. Of the 89,4GWh of electricity exported during the first quarter, ZimStat said NamPower of Namibia received (74,5GWh) which is 83,3 percent.

In terms of power distribution, the report notes that the total volume of electricity distributed during the first quarter was 2026,4 GWh. This reflected a percentage decrease of 7,6 percent when compared to 2192,2 GWh distributed in the 4th quarter 2023.

Of the distributed electricity, users in manufacturing, transport and construction sectors consumed 616,5GWh (30,4 percent), mining and Quarrying used 286,0GWh (14,1 percent) and domestic consumers used 500,1GWh (23 percent). Other sectors used 474,5GWh (24,7 percent) and agriculture and forestry sectors used 159,6GWh (7,9 percent).

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