Zimbabweans have lived with load-shedding in one form or another for the past two decades. The country’s power utility, ZESA, generates about 1 200MW against a peak demand of roughly 2 000MW. To cover for the shortfall the country has rationed power through load-shedding, banned filament bulbs and ordered new homes to use solar geysers instead of electricity ones. Things might just be on the verge of getting better though as the power utility expects to add about 600MW of power in March 2023 when the new Hwange project comes online.

Hwange Power plant is a bit of a mystery to me. Apparently, there are certain old units there that keep breaking down. On the other hand, there are new units that are currently being installed as part of ZESA’s efforts to reduce the power deficit Hwange’s power units 7 and 8 will lead to there being only 200 MW power deficits. This will mean less load shedding as the shortfall can now be easily bridged with imports and by independent power generators.

The USD$1.5 billion Hwange Unit 7 and 8 expansion project which is set to boost the national power grid by 600MW is progressing well, with the construction status now at 88 per cent.

Commissioning of auxiliaries for the Hwange stage 3 plant is now in progress, with the commissioning works for the water treatment plant – a key component in the thermal generation process, expected to be completed in July this year.

Other commissioning works expected to begin in the coming weeks include the boiler auxiliary, as well as back feed energisation — a process which supplies power to run the auxiliaries until the start-up of the main units.

The commissioning of the various plant auxiliaries is a prerequisite to the running of the main units which are expected to be in full operation in March next year.

Statement fro ZESA’s ZPC