By Anna Chibamu
AS power shortages continue, government has announced power producer Zesa has lost over 200MW after generators at Hwange inexplicably collapsed early Sunday.
Energy Minister Fortune Chasi used his twitter account to tell consumers that the power utility would increase load-shedding after a few weeks of improved supplies.
“Three generator units tripped at Hwange Power Station in the early hours of this morning (Sunday) leading to a loss of 251MW from the national grid. Load shedding has increased significantly and we are implementing it at stage two,” said Chasi.
Zesa public relations manager Fullard Gwasira confirmed the developed and told NewZimbabwe.com in an interview that one unit had already been restored by mid-morning Sunday.
“We expected power supply in the next two days but already one unit has been restored. Restoration proceedings are ongoing according to plan. One Unit restored putting 140MW are back onto the grid.
“Our engineers have started the process of restoring the units back into service. The process takes some time as units are restored in phases, i.e. one unit is fired, restored, and when it takes upload, we then go to the next one until all are restored, and when it takes up load, we then go to the next one until all are restored,” said Gwasira.
Gwasira said Zesa had also secured funding to extend the life of one of its oldest units.
“The old plant now requiring life extension but the good part is we have already secured $310 million for the project,” he said.
The country has been facing crippling power shortages after South Africa’s Eskom reduced its supply a few weeks ago due to a drop in generation.
Earlier, Eskom had also cut supplies to Zimbabwe due to debt. However, supplies were restored after Zesa struck a deal to pay US$890 000 per week as part of efforts to settle the debt.