The breakdown of the four power units have further reduced power output to the country as only two power units are now operational at the station and are only producing 190 MW of power. Hwange has a capacity of producing 920 MW of power when all six power units are operational.
Zimbabwe needs 2 600 megawatts (MW) of power to operate normally but currently the country’s total power generation is 940 MW. The country imports a further 295 MW of power from neighbouring countries to augment the national output.
Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA) spokesperson, Fullard Gwasira, this week said the power utility will release a new load shedding schedule to deal with low power output from energy sources.
“At the present moment the power we are generating is quite low and the electricity imports are far below consumers’ needs, there is depressed generation at Hwange power station as only two of the six power units are operational and from a maximum capacity production of 920 MW at Hwange power station we are only producing 190 MW pf electricity,”Gwasira said.
The serious shortage of electricity, that sees all sections of the country go for more than seven hours daily without any power, will affect the country’s plans to lure tourists and football teams that will throng the region for the World Cup tournament in South Africa in June and July.
It also emerged that all the three thermal power stations in the country are not operational and are not generating any electricity. Munyati, Bulawayo and Harare power stations have a combined potential to generate 500 MW of power.
Gwasira however said the country’s solution was for the maintenance of the thermal power stations. “The three thermal power stations have a potential to generate close to 500 MW and if they are serviced they can contribute to the national output,”he said.
Zimbabwe has a standing controversial US $40-million deal with Namibia’s power utility where the Namibians are helping Hwange Colliery Company (HCC) to increase coal production and keep a steady supply to the Hwange power station, in return for 70 MW of power.
Zimbabweans have had to endure long and unannounced load shedding because of electricity shortages.