Nqobile Bhebhe, Senior Business Reporter
POWER generation improved remarkably yesterday with 810 megawatts being fed to the national grid largely owing to Hwange Thermal Power Station which injected 442 megawatt, a sharp improvement from an average of 300 megawatt, power generation statistics show.
Kariba and Munyati contributed 350mw and 18mw respectively while two thermal stations, Bulawayo and Harare had no production.
On Tuesday, Hwange pumped 161MW and Kariba 200 MWbringing a total of 361MW. On Monday evening, Hwange Power Station’s Unit 7 was successfully synchronised with the national grid with officials saying the unit has not developed any problems.
The synchronisation process sought to establish if the electricity being generated from Unit 7 would flow seamlessly into the national grid.
Giving synchronisation updates on Wednesday, the Zimbabwe Power Company said unit 7 auxiliary equipment is being connected gradually adding that once the performance tests of the Unit are completed, it will be ready for commercial operation and consistently supply its full capacity to the national grid.
“The Technical Commissioning of Unit 7 is progressing in earnest. The auxiliary equipment is being connected gradually as we aim to ramp up output to 300MW, a milestone expected to be achieved soon
“Once the performance tests of the Unit are completed, it will be ready for commercial operation and consistently supply its full capacity to the national grid.
“The team is fully mindful of stakeholders expectations hence all efforts are being made to complete this delicate process,” said the power utility firm on its official Twitter handle.
Unit 7 is a component of the US$1,4 billion Hwange Unit 7 and 8 expansion project whose construction began in August 2018 following a ground-breaking ceremony by President Mnangagwa.
It is one of the flagship projects being implemented under the Second Republic in line with Vision 2030, which aims to transform Zimbabwe into an upper middle-income economy.
When fully commissioned, the project will help Zimbabwe reduce electricity imports and ease power cuts, which will drive increased industrial production as there will be guaranteed electricity supply, a key economic enabler and driver towards realisation of national goals in line with Vision 2030.
Before the expansion project, Hwange Power Station had an installed capacity of 920MW and the addition of 600MW from Units 7 and 8 will take the installed capacity to 1 520MW.
With Kariba South having already been expanded, resulting in the addition of 300MW into the grid to take the installed capacity to 1 050MW, there will be adequate electricity to meet industrial, commercial and dlomestic demand.