Second quarter power generation below target: ZPC

THE Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) says electricity generated in the second quarter of the year was 7,56 percent below target on the back of a host of challenges.

ZPC generates electricity from the Hwange Thermal Power Station, the Kariba Hydro Power Station and three small coal-fired power stations, Munyati in Kwekwe, Harare and Bulawayo.

In a performance update, the power utility said the second quarter of the year was characterised by a cocktail of challenges including dropping lake levels at Kariba.

“As a result, ZPC had to curtail generation at Kariba South Power Station to try and maintain the recommended generation levels of 358 megawatts at Kariba,” said the power utility in the update.

At a recent energy journalism workshop in Harare, ZPC business performance manager Engineer Bernard Chizengeya said the country’s giant hydro power plant at Lake Kariba was set for decommissioning next month in the wake of fast dwindling water levels. At that time, the Kariba water level was at 478 metres and power production was to cease if the water level got to 475 metres.

ZPC said Unit 6 at Hwange, the biggest unit, was unavailable throughout the quarter due to a rotor earth fault, and generation was also constrained due to numerous forced outages and diesel stock outs which delayed units’ return to service.

“Cash flows remain a challenge for us as current allocations are inadequate to meet critical obligations.

“Coal suppliers faced challenges in meeting their delivery targets for the period, resulting in depleted stock levels at the thermal stations. Resultantly, ZPC missed the monthly generation targets for the first time in 2019.

“From a target of 2,440,86 Gigawatt per hour, we sent out 2,256, 28GWh of energy thereby missing the set target for the quarter by 7,56 percent,” said the power company.

The second quarter of the year was highlighted by the landmark signing ceremony of the Deka project contract with Technofab of India on the 13th of May 2019.

Power projects in progress include the Hwange Expansion which was at 18 percent to completion.

“Transmission and distribution works for the project are progressing well with about 214,49 kilometres having been cleared as at July 22, 2019,” said ZPC.

Going forward, ZPC believes that with secure funding for the Bulawayo Repowering and Deka Pipeline Projects, they will be a step ahead in alleviating the power shortages Zimbabwe is experiencing.

But as for now the immediate solution is importing from regional utilities such Eskom of South Africa and HCB of Mozambique. — –

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