ZIMBABWE expects to end load shedding soon as it prepares to officially commission the 300 megawatts Hwange Power Station’s Unit 7 extension next month.
Energy and Power Development Minister, Soda Zhemu, told Parliamentarians on Thursday that the prevailing supply deficit of between 250 and 300 megawatts would be filled by Unit 7.
“Presently, the electricity deficit is between 250 and 300 megawatts and that is causing the load shedding during afternoon and evening peak,” he said.
“We expect this to be a thing of the past as soon as one of the units starts working.Load shedding is soon going to come to an end.
“The other unit which we expect to be operational in March or April next year, is going to produce another 300 megawatts. Government is also giving us the opportunity to phase out all the recurring problems.”
Minister Zhemu said as soon as Units 7 and 8 are functional, there will be a need to rehabilitate other units, which are Units 1 and 6.
“Right now we are checking on what needs to be done in these units and we call that detailed project reports.
“If we complete refurbishments, we will be able to produce the installed capacity of 900 megawatts,” he said.
The Hwange expansion project is being financed to the tune of US$1,4 billion and construction began in August 2018 following a ground-breaking ceremony by President Mnangagwa.
Meanwhile, the Government through the Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority (Zera) is encouraging high energy consumers to produce their own power.
“For those companies with machinery that uses a lot of electricity,
is offering them licences to have their own solar power stations so that they can produce their own electricity,” said Minister Zhemu.
Some companies in the mining sector such as Caledonia Mining, have started generating their own electricity.
Article Source: The Chronicle