Refurbishment works on Hwange thermal power station unit 6 in Zimbabwe has begun and is estimated to cost US $3.6m.
The national electricity company Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA) revealed the report and said that completion of the works will pave way for the Zimbabwe Power Company to embark on another US $28m major project to extend the lifespan of Unit 3.
The refurbishment exercises comes at a time when Hwange Power Station is on course to expand the power plant through constructing Units 7 and 8 with an additional capacity of 600MW.
“There are two approaches on Hwange; the first is to bring back Unit six and the second is to hold out Unit three major overhaul. Unit six expected to be completed in December,” said Energy and Power Development Deputy Minister, Magna Mudyiwa.
Hwange Thermal Power Station
Hwange Thermal Power Station is the biggest power plant in Zimbabwe with an installed capacity of 920 MW. It is owned and driven by the national electricity company Power utility, Zesa. Construction of the first stage units began in 1973, which were commissioned from 1983 to 1986, and was followed by second stage units in 1987.
Due to deterioration the plant, it was only capable of generating 327MW. This resulted to the rehabilitation and expansion of units. The deal aims at easing Zimbabwe’s long-standing power generation deficiency, which provides around 1,000MW against average demand of 1,400 MW or more.
Zimbabwe is facing electricity shortages as a result to low level generation capability at major stations like Kariba, Harare and Bulawayo. The Kariba station has been plagued by low tide levels whereas the stations within the two metropolitan provinces haven’t been obtaining adequate coal provides.
The country has been relying on power imports to complement its electricity generation capacity and is producing averages of 1 000 MW against a demand of about 1 500 MW. In a bid to boost future electricity offer, Government has been licensing independent power producers with a bias towards solar projects.