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Upgrades to units 1 to 6 at Hwange will add additional 350MW of power

The government’s plans to upgrade units 1 to 6 at Hwange Power Station will add an additional 350 megawatts of power, a move expected to help alleviate current electricity supply challenges, Energy and Power Development permanent secretary, Gloria Magombo has said.

The government has announced plans to upgrade the six units at the power station following the successful commissioning of refurbished Units 7 and 8 early this year.

The additional electricity is expected to go a long way in easing power shortages currently being experienced in the country.

Magombo told legislators during a pre-budget seminar that resources allowing, upgrading Hwange Unit 1 to six would take at least two years.

“The repowering of Hwange 1 to six will unlock an additional 350MW which is a low hanging fruit and can be completed within two years,” she said.

“We also see the coming in of Independent Power Producers unlocking an additional 1 000MW,”she added.

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Currently, the country is experiencing depressed power supplies as the new Hwange 7 and 8 units with an installed capacity of 600MW are undergoing a 30-day statutory maintenance session.

Magombo said her ministry would require ZWL$2 billion for its energy infrastructure projects aimed at increasing the country’s power generation capacity.

“We need ZWL$2 billion for us to be able to increase generation by almost 2 000MW in the next five years to help alleviate the energy deficit. We need to come up with innovations to fundraise towards the energy infrastructure,” she said.

Chair of the parliamentary portfolio committee on energy, Leslie Mhangwa pleaded with treasury to fund the ministry adequately in the 2024 budget.

The ministry bid for $192 billion in the 2024 budget but was given a cap of $68 billion.

“I hope the Finance Minister will say we give you everything that you need because you are the engine for growth but unfortunately our allocation is at 35.6 percent.

“It is our hope that the minister fully adopts the budget and gives us tools of the trade to fully equip us to tackle this electricity quagmire,” he said. New Ziana