BULAWAYO, April 30 (The Source) – Zimbabwe’s electricity generation has fallen to 801 megawatts (MW), less than half of peak demand, after a systems disturbance shut down Hwange Thermal Power and maintenance works at other plants with power outages likely to worsen, the company Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) has said.
Zimbabwe experienced a countrywide blackout on Monday due to problems on the national grid and power utility said in a statement that Hwange was shutdown the same day following the loss of a transformer.
The plant has an installed capacity of producing 920MW.
ZPC said as of 27 April 2015, it was producing 801MW against a national demand of 2,200MW.
“(The) station (was) shutdown following loss of TIA transformer after back up protection operated. This led to the loss of auxiliary supplies on Unit 2 and 3 that were in service,” said the company in a power generation update.
It said Unit 1 was taken out of service following a fire incident on BC2 burner and inspectors were in progress to identify damaged cables. Unit 4 was taken out of service due to LP front shaft vibrations and boiler tube leaks while Unit 5 tripped due to poor vacuum on February 5.
“On attempting to return to service, it developed governor challenges. Repair works are going to be carried out on the steam pipe hangers, turbine thrust pads as well as other opportunities maintenance jobs,” ZPC said.
The unit, which produces 150MW, is expected to be back in operation on Thursday.
“Unit 6 was taken out of service on 24 April, 2015 at 2227hrs due to a boiler tube leak. Works have been completed and preparations to bring the unit back are in progress.”
At Harare thermal station, station 2 was also taken out of service on August last year
Kariba Power Station is generating 723MW against an installed capacity of 750MW.
Harare, Bulawayo and Manyati stations were producing a combined electricity capacity of 78MW.
The thermal power stations – Harare, Bulawayo and Munyati are currently producing 30MW 24MW and 24MW respectively. This is against installed capacity of 75MW, 90MW and 100MW.
ZPC director Noah Gwariro said power generation at Harare Power Station will double from 30 Megawatts to 60 MW by the end of this month on expected completion of the repairs to one of its turbo alternators.