Harare (New Ziana) – Reduced water levels at Kariba dam and constant breakdowns at the Hwange Thermal power station saw the Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) miss its 2019 output target by 17 percent.
Kariba dam is home to Zimbabwe’s largest hydro-power stations, which has capacity to produce 1 050 Megawatts, but is currently generating electricity at reduced levels due to critically low water levels following the drought experienced in the catchment area of its main feeder rivers.
“In 2019, ZPC sent out 7445.18 GWh for the period spanning January to December 2019 against a target of 8973.53GWh,” the ZPC said.
“We missed the set annual target by 17.03 percent. This is attributable to the depressed generation at Kariba, following the decreased water allocation by the Zambezi River Authority due to low water levels caused by lower than average inflows into the dam from the 2018/2019 rainy season.
“The situation was also magnified by the constant breakdowns at Hwange and the subsequent postponement of Hwange Unit 3 major overhaul. This led to a prolonged period of load shedding spanning 18 hours a day in the worst instances.”
The company however said despite operational challenges it was exploring ways to improve the power supply situation, for example by refurbishing existing power plants and extending their lifespan.
“Part of the funding for refurbishment of stage 1 at Hwange has since been secured and we are looking forward to commencing the exercise in 2020. We are looking forward to implementing Plasma Ignition Technology which shall increase efficiency of our power generation and reduce the need for use of large quantities of diesel. The Procurement Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe has since given a no-objection to the awarding of the tender and the contract was duly signed and is now in the Conditions Precedence satisfaction period,” it said.
The ZPC said the 600 MW Hwange expansion project was proceeding well and was on course for completion by end of January 2022.
“Works that are currently in progress include design reviews, employees’ accommodation construction, site temporary works, excavations, superstructures construction and transmission works.
“There are also offsite works currently in progress, including the manufacturing of turbines and generators for both units which are being done in China. Delivery of turbine for Unit 7 is expected in January 2020 while for Unit 8 delivery is expected in March 2020. A team will visit China for tests on the generators,” the company said.