By Shiana Mhizha
Electricity customers countrywide are expected to experience increased load-shedding over the next three months after Zesa Holdings began mandatory and routine maintenance work at Hwange Thermal Power Station.
The spokesperson for the power utility, Mr Fullard Gwasira, told The Sunday Mail that the major maintenance work, which began yesterday, will affect the normal power supply schedule.
He said a total of 160 megawatts (MW) will be lost to the national grid. The power station generates an optimum of 500 MW and is expected to produce 600 MW after the exercise.
“Zesa Holdings would like to advise all its customers countrywide that Hwange Power Station will be undergoing its scheduled mandatory statutory maintenance to ensure the continued operational efficiency of that generating asset,” he said.
“The scheduled maintenance will commence on Saturday 11 August 2012 (yesterday) and be completed in November 2012. During this period, a total of 160 MW will be lost to the national grid.”
Mr Gwasira said alternative arrangements have already been made with other regional utilities to augment supplies. However, such supplies may not be availed during peak times.
“As a result, load-shedding may intensify and we may be forced to depart from the publicised load-shedding schedules. Consumers are urged to use the available electricity sparingly to alleviate the extent and duration of load-shedding during this period.”
Meanwhile, the Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) has entered into a skills development and partnership programme with Indian power company Wapcos. ZPC managing director Mr Noah Gwatidzo last week revealed that the Indian company is training local technicians and engineers.
“The Indians are training our engineers and technicians at our power stations so that they will be able to run these power stations professionally,” he said.
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