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City gets power boost

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HWANGE — Zesa has ordered 30 000 tonnes of coal to fully run its Bulawayo Thermal Power Station and augment electricity supplies in the city, it was revealed on Wednesday.

Makomo Mining Resources general manager Samson Mabvira told NewsDay on the sidelines of a tour of their Hwange mine by a team from the National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) that his company would be supplying Zesa with the coal.

The Bulawayo station is currently producing 25 megawatts (MW) of electricity but is capable of generating 90MW. It has an installed capacity of 120MW.

Mabvira said the power utility was making efforts to run the thermal power station at full throttle and needed the tonnage to operate without interruption.

However, he said Makomo was failing to meet the target as it only supplied 9 700 tonnes of coal. “We are working on increasing the tonnage which we are currently supplying the thermal station to anything above 40 000 tonnes so that the power station will fully operate,” he said.

“However, we are facing challenges in producing that tonnage as we have to also supply other thermal stations at Munyati in Kwekwe and Harare.” Mabvira said his company had only managed to supply a combined tonnage of 25 000 tonnes to all thermal power stations since the beginning of the year.

“With the help of NRZ, we hope that we are going to transport a large quantity of coal to these thermal stations through Lukhosi railway terminal in Hwange,” he said.

Speaking during the tour, NRZ public relations manager Fanuel Masikati said the parastatal was geared to provide enough wagons to the coal-mining companies in Hwange to move their products to markets. He said NRZ was aiming to play a “pivotal role” in the generation of electricity in the country.

Zimbabwe has been facing shortages of electricity for the past few years and the problem is expected to continue for the next three years when new power generation projects are expected to be completed.

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