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Zesa to increase load-shedding

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ZIMBABWE will experience more power outages during the festive season following the shutting down of Bulawayo Power Station on Friday due to insufficient water feed.

MTHANDAZO NYONI
OWN CORRESPONDENT

According to a Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) update, the shutdown in Bulawayo is expected to last until December 21, a process that will take more than 40 megawatts (MW) off the national grid.

“The station (Bulawayo) was shut down on 12 December 2014 at 3:45pm due to insufficient feed water. It is expected back in service on December 21 2014,” part of the update reads.

According to ZPC, Boiler Five is on statutory inspection, Boiler Six is on refractory repairs, Boiler Seven is on refractory repairs, Boiler Eight is on external cleaning, Boiler Nine is on refractory repairs, Boiler 10 is on standby, Generator Three is out of commission due to on-going condenser cleaning, Generator Four is out of commission due to on-going condenser cleaning and Generator Five is set for refurbishment during the re-powering project.

In Harare, station two was shut down on August due to insufficient boiler plant and is currently under servicing.

Unit Four in Hwange was taken out of service in October for tube leak repairs. The unit remains out of service for major overhaul and the revised return to service date is now February 23 2015, the company said.

As of yesterday, ZPC was producing 1 110MW. Zimbabwe is currently experiencing a power deficit with peak capacity demand of 2 200MW against an installed capacity of 1 100MW. The government has encouraged independent power producers to step in to help offset the deficit.

Bulawayo Station was mothballed for more than 10 years and only brought back to service in 2011 when power shortages intensified, but is only producing around 40MW from its installed capacity of 90MW.

The thermal power station was commissioned in the 1950s as an undertaking by the then Bulawayo Municipality. It was transferred to the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority in 1987 after the amalgamation of all the local authority electricity undertakings, the Electricity Supply Commission, thermal power stations at Munyati and Hwange and the Central African Power Corporation station at Kariba.

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