Zimbabwe surpasses power production target

By Staff reporter | 18 May 2019 at 18:52hrs
THE Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) says power production during the first quarter of 2019 surpassed target by 20,26 percent driven largely by an improved contribution from Kariba Power Station.

The Zesa Holdings unit in its first quarter power column update said despite economic challenges that the country is facing, it continues to strive towards providing electricity. "ZPC sent out a total of 2,457.55GWh of energy in the 1st quarter of 2019, thereby surpassing its target of 2,043.56GWh by 20,26 percent," the company said.

ZPC noted that production at the thermal stations was during the first quarter constrained due to various issues faced at Hwange which resulted in the shutting of some units and delayed return to service.
"The low coal stocks situation was fuelled up by price increases and to cater for the constrained output from the thermal stations, generation at Kariba had to be ramped up."

But from the energy supply balance, ZPC said Kariba Power Station contributed 65 percent of the energy, with Hwange contributing 33 percent while the small thermals contributed two percent to the total energy production during the quarter.

"Kariba's performance was fairly smooth during the quarter. The target was surpassed by 50,73 percent. This is mainly attributed to the increased generation to cater for the shortcoming of the thermal power stations," ZPC said.

It added that the increased generation coupled together with low river flows in the Kariba catchment area prompted Zambezi River Authority to reduce the water allocation from the initial allocation of 19Bm3 to 17Bm3.

"The station consumed 6.72Bm3 in the first quarter leaving the station with only 10.38bm3 for generation for the rest of the year which corresponds to an average monthly capacity of 358MW."
We are therefore encouraged to continue adhering to the stipulated generation levels as recommended by Zambezi River Authority so as to avoid penalties due to over consumption of water, and a potential inadvertent shutdown of the Kariba complex," ZPC added.

The power utility noted that despite the challenges, it has drawn up a comprehensive action plan in order to address the power deficiencies.  "These include refurbishments of critical machinery at Hwange Power Station, repowering of small thermals, partnering to generate and practising asset management excellence.

"In addition to this, ZPC is currently putting maximum efforts towards new projects which will result in addition of more power on the national grid. "These have been prioritised at company and national level and they include Hwange 7 and 8 Expansion project which commenced on August 1, 2018. Design reviews, site works and units 7 and 8 works are in progress," said ZPC.

It added that the National Project Status for the project has been renewed by the ministry of Finance and the project was nominated for Rapid Results Initiative (RRI) and construction work on the project is progressing well.



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