By Joyce Mukucha
The Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA) Holdings has advised members of the public and its valued customers that they were making concerted efforts to restore adequate power supply to the national grid.
This follows a limited power supply on the national grid due to the fire that broke out at one of the units at Hwange Power Station.
In a statement issued on the 11th of February 2021, Zimbabwe’s state-owned ZESA said, “ZESA Holdings wishes to advise its valued customers that due to the fire that broke out at one of the units at Hwange Power Station last night, there is limited power supply on the national grid.
“Efforts are also underway to restore services to optimum levels by bringing back Units 2 and 5 at the Power Station.”
ZESA Holdings said, “The fire outbreak will result in load curtailment of up to 300MQ at evening peak (1600-2030hrs), Thursday 11 February 2021.”
Though they managed to control the fire, ZESA Holdings said the outbreak resulted in equipment damage.
The fire burnt for about 40 minutes, resulting in Zimbabwe losing about 140MW of electricity and forcing unscheduled load-shedding.
“The fire, which broke out in the Unit1 boiler room, caused damage to power cables and other equipment. However, we were able to isolate all systems in order to prevent potentially more serious damage.
“The fire lasted for 40 minutes and measures to manage further risk were implemented.”
It has been highlighted that there were no casualties arising from the fire and investigations on the extent of the damage caused by the fire are currently underway.
In the meantime, customers were encouraged to conserve the available energy.
“ZESA urges all customers to use the available power sparingly and sincerely regrets any inconvenience caused. Customers will be updated as the situation improves.”
According to the Zimbabwe Power Company, Zimbabwe’s largest coal-powered power station(Hwange)’s production capacity is 920MW.
Unfortunately, due to obsolete equipment and constant breakdowns, the plant is only capable of producing 293MW.