Electricity outages to persist as Hwange Power Station woes mount; govt clueless on when faults will be rectified

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By Anna Chibamu

ZIMBABWEANS should brace for more power outages as Hwange Power Station is using obsolete equipment which affects the national grid.

Energy minister Soda Zhemu told Parliament Wednesday that equipment at the power station needed urgent replacement.

Responding to questions from MPs during a Q and A session in the National Assembly, Zhemu told Speaker Jacob Mudenda that until new equipment is purchased, blackouts will persist.

“Depressed power supply outage of Hwange Power Station resulted in three units being lost on 23 and 24 February, 2023 respectively.

“Hwange Power station lost 363MW from 440MW to 77MW. The old equipment is due for replacement. The power outage at Hwange was a forced, unplanned fault on the day and until we have dependable equipment that we need, such outages will be common,” Zhemu said.

He added that he had no clue on when the three units that are down will be restored.

“Knowing how critical the situation is, the issue will be looked at as a matter of urgency.”

However, the minister said the government had put in place a national renewable energy policy in 2019 to make use of fossil, solar, wind and biogas energy.

“To date, the government has licensed 90 investments of 20 have been developed adding 68-96 megawatts to the national grid.

Zhemu also highlighted that 920MW will be restored at the station once 6 Units are restored.

“We have increased our imports from 300MW to 500MW and we also hope to increase electricity generation at Kariba with water levels at 14 % at the dam.”

Zhemu further warned the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA) not to disconnect power at important institutions such as hospitals.