Zimbabwe Energy and Power Development Minister Zhemu Soda yesterday told the Senate that Zimbabwe will have enough power once Hwange’s Unit 7 is commissioned on 16 March but he shifted the commissioning of Unit 8 to June.
Soda told Parliament on Wednesday that Unit 8 will be commissioned a month after Unit 7.
Responding to a question in the Senate yesterday Soda said the country will have enough electricity once Unit 7 is commissioned.
“What I want to assure the nation is that once Unit 7 has been commissioned, it will enable us to have enough electricity. What is now troubling the nation is the malfunctioning of the Hwange machines which is now causing electricity shortages,” he said.
“Yesterday, there was only 1 unit functioning which was giving us 76 megawatts. This is contributing to this problem of electricity but what will bring us out of this problem is that the old machinery should be put aside and should be repaired whilst not being used. We can later use them after they have been fully serviced.
“Once Unit 7 is commissioned, we are assuring the nation that we will have enough electricity. Unit 7 is not very far from producing electricity for the nation. As of now, we will continue in this situation whilst trying to get a solution.”
Q & A:
HON. SEN. SIPANI-HUNGWE: My question is directed to the Minister of Energy and Power Development. There is a crisis of electricity in the country and in southern region including South Africa. I want you to explain to the nation on what is happening with regards to the new power generation at Hwange. When are we going to have the electricity commissioned into the grid? How long is it going to take us to get access to that power? Now we can no longer afford to have beef meat because we cannot use refrigerators. May the Hon Minister explain to us because it is a crisis? I thank you.
THE MINISTER OF ENERGY AND POWER DEVELOPMENT (HON. SODA): Thank you Mr. President for giving me this opportunity to respond to this question on electricity which we all know that the problem was worsened by lack of water or no water to generate electricity from Kariba. It was because of serious shortage of water for electricity generation. So since the onset of the rainy season, we are now having an improvement on power generation on the 3rd of February. Those who monitor Lake Kariba informed us that we can increase 100 megawatts from Kariba on top of the 250 megawatts that were being generated towards the end of the year.
With regards to what we are doing to solve the problem of power shortage, Government from 2018, sought to increase or solve power shortages and we then decided to increase power generation from Hwange by increasing two power generation units, that is 7 and 8. Unit 7 is almost totally complete. Construction works have been completed and what is remaining is for the power to be fed into the national grid.
We are now awaiting the process of synchronisation that looks at the process from the time coal is fed into the units to the whole process of burning the coal and producing the steam, the turning of the turbines and the power generation eventually. We are now left with the work of getting that electricity into the national grid, so the work is at 99%.
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