Hwange Power Station (HPS) has for the first time, since a decade ago, started operating at full capacity with all the six units working at full throttle, but officials said load-shedding would continue as national demand outstripped supply.
Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) officials told State Enterprises and Parastatals minister Gorden Moyo last week that although the six power generation units at HPS were operational, demand for energy still outstripped supply.
“HPS has never been able to produce this much for a long time. Our highest peak was attained in June this year when we produced 727 megawatts (MW).
“This year we have managed to produce well, especially in winter when the demand is high,” said HPS general manager Ndabezinhle Mphoko.
Mphoko said in the first half of the year, HPS generated 1 928, 88 gigawatts out of a targeted 2 014 gigawatts.
ZPC operations director Wonder Magura said while the combined output of the country’s power stations was 1 400MW, the suppressed national demand for power stood at 1 800MW.
Demand is however expected to peak at 2 000MW this month-end as winter temperatures plunge further.
“From midnight up to around five o’clock in the morning we experience very low demand for energy.
“However from 5 o’clock onwards, as people wake up and prepare to go to work, we have a steep rise. Since we have limited capacity we have to switch off.
“In a sense, we have to shed the load. I hope people out there will understand us on load-shedding. We want to encourage industries and farmers who are doing irrigation to work at 12 midnight when the demand is very low,” he said.
“I, however, don’t want to promise things that are not possible. We will continue to have load-shedding because demand is far more than supply,” he said.