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Year message from Chairman of Zimbabwe Power Company
January 09, 2011
I address this
message to users of electricity in Zimbabwe and all other stakeholders
who may be interested.
Status of Generation in Zimbabwe
Over the Christmas period the country experienced
a much improved availability of power. All six units at Kariba were
working as were five of six units at Hwange and Munyati Power Station
was generating between 20 and 40 MW. In addition, with much of industry
taking a well deserved break, there was additional power on the
grid for those customers on line.
Shortly after Christmas one of the, larger, units
at Hwange was lost due to failure of certain components. On the
28th of December we had to take out a unit at Kariba for two weeks
of routine maintenance. On the night of the 5th January we had to
take out a second unit at Kariba which twins with the unit already
under maintenance. These two units share a transformer on which
components had to be replaced - this was planned for this
In summary customers will be experiencing excessive
load-shedding in contrast to the Christmas period, as there has
now been a sharp drop in generation just as industry is coming back
Looking ahead over the next two weeks. Every effort
is being made to bring the unit lost at Hwange back to service during
this weekend. The fifth unit at Kariba should be on the grid on
Monday with the sixth returning to service by mid-January. This
should bring the country back to a "normal load-shedding regime"
by the middle of the month.
ahead this year
It is important
to advise customers of the realities at Hwange Power Station. The
supply out of Hwange remains fragile in spite of significant progress
having been made to stabilise supply during 2010. We still need
to undertake major works on: the raw water supply line from the
Zambezi River, work on the two large raw-water reservoirs at the
station is underway; urgent and significant work will be undertaken
during the first quarter of this year on the Ash disposal system
(a new specialised pipeline has been ordered and is under manufacture).
Further to this, the units themselves at the station need ongoing
work to optimise their output. To assist us with this "project
related work" as well as to train and mentor staff at the
station we have engaged a blended team from India and Zimbabwe under
the management of WAPCOS - a highly respected Indian-based
organisation in the energy field. This team will be on-station early
in February. We are optimistic that there will be a consistency
in supply out of Hwange Power Station by the end of the first quarter
2011 followed by a gradual increase through the year.
Power Station should remain at full capacity except for the isolated
occasion when the station is forced into "sudden shut-down"
due to exogenous shocks which can occur on the grid - these
can emanate from the region or sudden failure of local transmission
All three Small Thermal stations (Harare, Munyati
and Bulawayo) will be brought back into service during the first
quarter of this year. The cost of generation from these stations
is high due to both the distance from the coal fields and, in some
cases, the need to use higher quality coal. As a consequence power
from these stations can only be sold to those companies who have
dedicated power lines and who are willing, and able, to pay the
higher tariff. However this additional power will help boost the
economy and create additional employment in the process.
It is important to note that once we have achieved
stability in supply and optimised our present installed-capacity
the supply of electricity will still remain below demand. Ongoing
efforts are being made to increase the importation of additional
power from the region by our sister company, ZETDC. But there is
a regional scarcity. In addition our economy will grow and hence
demand for electricity. The only way to close this demand-supply
gap is to build extra generation capacity, which will take at least
three and a half years from the time funding has been secured.
ZPC's planning and preparation are well advanced
such that its can approach relevant investors and/or partners in
pursuit of adding capacity at Hwange Power Station (top priority
as a "base-load" station) and Kariba (to add to "peaking
demand"). We have the full and emphatic support of our ultimate
shareholder to secure investment for the generation sector. In addition
we plan, over the next two years, to retrofit the Small Thermals
in a bid to increase the energy sent out and lower the costs.
I take the opportunity
to thank the entire staff of ZPC for their commitment, hard and
long hours of work during 2010 - most often with constrained resources.
Particular gratitude is extended to those who worked over the Festive
Season - day and night. I also extend a note of thanks to our Ministry
for their candid, progressive and demanding support.
I thank all our customers for your patience and
understanding. I encourage you all to keep paying for the units
of electricity that you use. In addition please could we all take
all possible measures to reduce our usage - it is good for
your pocket and for the Nation.
Best Wishes The Board and management of ZPC are
determined to stabalise and increase the generation levels in 2011
to well above those levels achieved in 2010.
I wish you all, users of electricity and the staff
of ZESA as a whole, a safe and fulfilled 2011.
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