By Derick Tsimba
The Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) has assured the nation that it will provide electricity during the 2020 winter season through improving coal deliveries and utilization of units 3 and 6 at Hwange Power Station.
In a press statement reporting on the Power Column 1st Quarter, 2020, ZPC said deliveries of coal stocks at Hwange Power Station for generating electricity in winter were improving.
“Coal deliveries are beginning to improve. We will have enough stock for winter as well as utilization of units 3 and 6 at Hwange Power Station once they are back on board,” said ZPC.
The power utility also said it was ensuring that the expansion project at Hwange unit 7 and 8 was progressing despite being slowed down by COVID-19.
“We have ensured that the units 7 and 8 expansion project in Hwange continues although the overall schedule is slightly behind with progress sitting at 41.5%. This is due to the effects of COVID-19 which have adversely affected the procurement and manufacturing of equipment.
“ZPC is however currently riding on exemption of essential utilities in which Hwange Expansion Project falls under, to avail staff at site for business continuity. Certain controls for the containment of COVID-19 pandemic have been enforced at all sites to ensure the safety of employees and contractors,” said the utility.
The Harare Post has learnt that this year has kicked off on a challenging note for ZPC owing to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic which has affected the world at large, depressed generation at Kariba due to low lake levels and unavailability of unit 3 and 6 at Hwange throughout the Quarter.
Given the operating environment, ZPC sent out 1293.86GWh against a target of 1608.25GWh, with a negative variance of 19.55%. The output of 1293.86GWh is 21.56% below the output for the same period in 2019. The country experienced low lake levels at Kariba Dam throughout the 1st Quarter of, 2020. In, 2019, during the same period the levels were at 32.7% and this year they have risen to 37%.