ZESA’s Hwange Power Station Gutted By Fire, Lost 140MW

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By Anna Chibamu

THE Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company (ZETDC) lost 140MW from the national grid after Hwange Power Station caught fire on Wednesday.

According to Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA) Sydney Gata, the fire resulted in load-shedding in some parts of the country as efforts were being made to restore power.

“ZESA Holdings wishes to advise its valued stakeholders that one of the units at Hwange Power Station caught fire around 1700hrs this evening (Wednesday).

“The fire broke out in the Unit 1 boiler as a result of a leak in the diesel supply fuel line and lasted for about 40 minutes. There were no casualties arising from the fire,” said Gata.

The ZESA chairperson added: “We lost 140MW leading to load shedding between 1730hrs and 2030hrs due to suspension of load on units 2 and 5. We are in the process of firing the two units to restore power supply to the national grid.

“Normal supply is expected to resume on Thursday.”

The Hwange Power Station is country’s largest thermal power station.

Energy Minister Zhemu Soda also confirmed the incident.

“I received the report from Dr. Gata. He called me to indicate that there was a fire incident at the power station and that they are yet to ascertain the level of damage,” he said.

Soda said the Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) was yet to conduct an assessment on the damage and impact of the fire to power supplies.