GOOD NEWS: New 300MW unit brings load shedding relief after successful commissioning


Zimbabwe has gotten a boost in its power generation as Hwange Thermal Power Station Unit 7, which had been taken off the grid for testing, has now been reconnected. This adds 300 megawatts (MW) of capacity to the national power grid.

The country has been experiencing regular power cuts due to insufficient generation. The addition of Unit 7 and the upcoming synchronization of Unit 8, which is expected in October, will help reduce the load shedding.

The expansion of Hwange Power Station by adding Units 7 and 8, with funding mainly from China, started in 2018 but was delayed by the COVID pandemic.

Energy Minister Soda Zhemu confirmed that Unit 7 was undergoing commissioning tests before being officially put on the commercial grid. After the tests showed success, the unit was disconnected briefly to allow engineers to evaluate the results before commercial operations.

Once Unit 8 is synchronized, Zimbabwe is expecting to have 600MW more capacity from the two new units. This additional power, along with higher output from the Kariba Hydro plant due to increased water allocation, is improving the country’s electricity situation. Zimbabwe’s output has recovered from below 400MW early this year to around 1,200MW currently.

The stabilization of power supplies is expected to boost industrial productivity in the country.

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