Several Units At Hwange Power Station Break Down
The Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) says it is at various stages of repairing four units at Hwange Power Station after a series of breakdowns in recent days.
The breakdowns at the thermal power plant, which is the country’s second-biggest plant, literally plunged the country deeper into darkness as it is now operating at just 10 percent of its 920 megawatts capacity.
According to a general supply summary report produced by ZPC, between February 15 and 23 this year, four units at the Hwange thermal power plant were switched off, leaving the plant operating with one.
ZESA spokesperson George Manyaya promised to provide comment to The Herald after “getting a status update from the technical team” on Tuesday, but he had not done so by the time of publishing.
According to ZPC, a unit of ZESA Holdings responsible for generating electricity, Unit 4 was switched off on 15 February after developing a boiler tube leak.
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Unit 1 was taken off on February 24 after a high-pressure fan got damaged.
Unit 3 was stopped on February 24 after developing a tube leak while Unit 6 was switched off on February 23 after developing a similar problem.
The damaged units are at various stages of being repaired, said ZPC. Unit 5 tripped in October 2021 due to excessive turbine vibrations.
On Wednesday, 01 March 2023, Kariba hydroelectric plant was generating 280MW.
Kariba’s Unit 4 was taken out on July 20 2022 due to a damaged turbine runner.
Generator 1 was switched off on February 2 2023 for turbine runner inspection. The inspections have been completed and the unit has been placed on annual maintenance.
Unit 8 tripped on 20 December 2022 due to GTx 8 fault and is being replaced.
Unit 6 was taken out on December 16 2022 for an annual overhaul and machine cooling water pipework replacement. Kariba dam level has slightly improved to 13,75 percent.
Meanwhile, Hwange was generating only 72MW this Wednesday while the small power stations, Munyati and Bulawayo are currently switched off for boiler maintenance.
Zimbabwe is importing 50MW from Hidroeléctrica de Cahora Bassa; 180MW from Eskom, between 130-200MW from Electricidade de Moçambique and 1 00MW from Zambia’s state-owned power utility ZESCO.
The country is exporting up to 80MW to Namibia.