Yesterday evening a lot of neighbourhoods were plunged into darkness as ZESA embarked onto load-shedding. According to ZESA this was due to a fire that broke out at Hwange Power Station at around 17:00 hours resulting in the loss of a critical 140 MW of generating capacity. It seems the issue has not yet been fixed as promised resulting in loadshedding continuing into today with lots of suburbs in Harare currently without power.

According to ZESA’s Dr Sydney Gata that the power utility is in the process of firing up additional units in a bid to reduce the shortfall and reduce the need for loadshedding. The issue is being made worse by the fact that South Africa’s Eskom is facing issues of it’s own. South Africans are currently going through loadshedding of their own which means there is no possibility of Eskom helping ZESA cover the shortfall.

ZESA’s statement on the issue

PRESS STATEMENT ON HWANGE POWER STATION FIRE INCIDENT

ZESA Holdings wishes to advise its valued stakeholders that one of the units at Hwange Power Station caught fire around 1700hrs this evening. According to ZESA Holdings Executive Chairman Dr. Sydney Gata, the fire broke out in the Unit 1 boiler as a result of a leak in the diesel supply line and lasted for about forty minutes. There were no casualties arising from the fire.

Although we lost 140MW leading to load shedding between 1730hrs and 2030hrs due to suspension of load on units 2 and 5, we are in the process of firing the two units to restore power supply to the national grid. Normal supply is expected to resume on Thursday the 11th of February 2021.

DR S.Z Gata Executive Chairman

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