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LOAD SHEDDING: Hwange Unit 7 Back on Grid on the 22nd

The synchronisation of Unit 8 did not go as planned on 16th May

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Energy and Power Power Development Minister, Zhemu Soda said that the Hwange Thermal Power Station Unit 7 will be back on the national grid on Monday.

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Last week, the Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company (ZETDC) announced that the 300MW Hwange Unit 7 had been temporarily removed from the grid for system evaluation before the final commissioning phase.

Responding to questions from Senators on Thursday, Soda said the reliability tests for Unit 7 had been completed and it will be back on the grid on Monday. The Minister said:

It was being run on commissioning tests where they were testing the turbine running capacity, which was successful and also the boiler hydraulics.

What happened is that after running it for the period of the tests, they took it out of the grid in order for technicians to do evaluations before the unit is run on a commercial basis.

Meanwhile, the synchronisation of Unit 8 did not go as planned on 16 May, according to the Minister.

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He said when the synchronisation started, engineers discovered after about three hours that there was an area that they needed to attend to and it was taken off the grid. Said Soda:

They have been working on the unit and according to what they had pre-determined at a time when they took it off the grid, the unit was supposed to be tied back to the grid today (last Thursday).

He said he was yet to get an update from the Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) on whether that had happened.

Unit 7 and 8 are expected to add 600 megawatts to the grid and reduce the duration of unscheduled power cuts being experienced across the country. The two units were built at a cost of about US$1.4 billion by a Chinese contractor.

The Hwange Thermal Power Station expansion project started in 2018 but was affected by a number of unforeseen events such as the COVID-19 outbreak.


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