ZPC shuts down 2 power stations

THE Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) has shut down two power stations — Bulawayo and Munyati — due to electricity oversupply in the country, an official has said.

BY MTHANDAZO NYONI

The power stations, with a combined installed capacity of 190 megawatts (MW), had not been operating for the past few weeks, according to ZPC’s power generation update.

Munyati has a capacity to produce 100MW, while Bulawayo can produce 90MW.

Only three power stations were operating as at January 26, 2018.

ZPC indicated that Hwange was producing 655MW against installed capacity of 920MW, while Kariba Hydro Power Station was generating 546MW against an installed capacity of 750MW.

Harare was producing 15MW against 75MW installed capacity.

In total, the three stations were producing in excess of 1 216MW against national demand of 1 450MW, meaning the gap is being met through
imports.

But when reached for comment on Friday, Zesa Holdings chief executive officer Josh Chifamba said national demand was being “met”, so there was no need to run the stations.

“Are we having any power cuts? Demand is being met, why should we run them?” Chifamba told NewsDay before hanging up his phone.
The country, which has been battling to generate sufficient power to meet its consumption needs, has been relying on imports, particularly from neighbouring South Africa and Mozambique.

ZPC used to import 300MW from Eskom of South Africa and 50MW from Mozambique’s Hydro Cahora Bassa.


In May last year, Eskom threatened to switch off Zimbabwe from its power grid over $43 million arrears arising from unpaid import supplies.

The Bulawayo thermal power plant is due for refurbishment, with ZPC in November last year reporting that it was reviewing a draft contract for a loan of $87 million secured from the India Export and Import Bank in 2016 by government.

ZPC has been shutting down the station frequently due to problems caused by the antiquated machinery.

12 Comments

  1. Why shut down local generation whilst continuing to pay foreign currency for imports instead of reducing the quantity imported and replace with the local increased generation?

    1. Is it not better to reduce imports and save forex?

  2. Shutting down those power stations doesn’t make sense at all. Why not generate to their maximum capacity and then export surplus to other countries?

  3. Ruramai Mutemasaka

    THESE CLOWN ENGINEER IN THE MAKE OF ENG JOSH DO NOT THINK OF EXPORTING POWER. FOR THEM ONCE DEMAND IS MET, THAT FINE! HOW ABSURD THAT IS COMING FROM A WELL RESPECTED PROFESSIONAL!

  4. They are not at capacity to say its oversupply is not the real truth ,we all know that only domestic consumers are left on grid since most industries has shut down. I agree that we should be taking advantage of this and making sure that we are at par ,beacuse as soon as one industry open its back to darkness

  5. Dignity Charema

    Typical of us most Africans, we give special treatment and preference and even more respect to foreigners/neighbours than those inside the home. It boggles the mind how one who installs and owns a bakery producing bread in the home leaves it and buys bread at the shops. Promoting other countries at the expense of your own and then you turn around and denigrate your country, praising economies of other countries whom you promote. May GOD help us change this mentality in some of us.

  6. By shutting down the plant fixed costs continue to be incurred with no revenue generated to cover them. Shame this is bush miseconomics

  7. I think the question we should be asking ourselves is “What is the generation cost per kilowatt hour at these plants?” The unit unit cost maybe very high compared to imports, but the information is not being communicated to us or the reporters do not know the right questions to ask in order to bring this information to the fore. I personally think that no one in his right frame of mind will shut down the power plants and pay for imports, with the forex which is very difficult to get currently. This information is very important for business decision making and public consumption. We can only effectively critique this position with sufficient information.

  8. Let them shut down. They are overcharging us. Here we have decided to use gas for cooking hence low demand for electricity. ZESA must also be sensitive to the plight of their customers when we complain kt their old archaic metters are overcharging us kwete kungotarisa maMetter ari kuita undercharge.

  9. Very funny… Mr Chifamba thought you would stop imports and increase production at your local units no wonder your company is in debt and making losses. This is bad decision making. ZESA Needs to reform so much corruption the whole system is a mess.
    STOP IT!!!!!

  10. Comment…why not electrifying our rural homes

  11. Josh must be fired and replaced with a more sensible, more practical professional administrator who will not decide to pay 13 cents per unit of power to south African Escom while the regional price average is below three cents.

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