The Hwange Thermal Power Station has exceeded its life expectancy and is need of about US$500 million to resuscitate the thermal plants, a Zimbabwe Power Company official has revealed.
Addressing stakeholders during the Research Council of Zimbabwe and Energy Regulatory Authority workshop held in the capital today, ZPC Business Performance Manager Bernard Chizengeya said the situation is now causing efficiency deterioration and low plant availability which might lead to load shedding in the near future.
“Hwange Power Station has expired so we need to renew certain components, we have to do a remnant life assessment which has to be done by people from outside Zimbabwe hence there is need for foreign currency.
“The parts which have to be replaced have run for more than thirty five years, now we have assessed that to renew the life of Hwange Power Station there is need for about US$485 million and remember this is United States Dollar.
“Life expectancy for all thermal plants have run out and we are trying to renew the boilers since we are now facing efficiency deterioration and low plant availability.
“Most of the factories are no longer manufacturing what we use and there is need for a special arrangement with the manufacturers to supply us with the technology which we have got,” he said.
Chizengeya added that the company has been operating for more than thirty five years without being serviced hence they can not meet the new dispensation Demands unless they complete some of the expansion projects.
“We are having system constrains,our demand is currently at around 2000 megawatts especially during the winter but we can only supply about 1400 megawatts so there is a huge deficit.
“We are now being forced to keep on supplying and limit the maintenance regimes otherwise we will experience load shedding.
“The life expectancy of a thermal station should be around thirty to thirty-five years so if you can look at the years l am talking about,Hwange station has been operating from 1983 hence we have exceeded thirty five years.
“Small thermal stations have operated for more than sixty years and they are still running up to now, such are the problems and we have no choice since the demand is growing.
“Industry is operating around 30% and if you look at the new dispensation, industry have to produce more since there will be more demand by 2030.
“So electricity which we have for now can not meet the new dispensation hence ZPC is now going through some of its expansion projects,” he added.
Meanwhile the Chinese government through the Export Import Bank of China (EximBank of China) has released $200 million this year to a Chinese firm SynoHydro Power towards the expansion of Hwange Power Station.
In June President Emmerson Mnangagwa officiated the ground breaking of a $1,5 billion project for the expansion of the station which is expected to feed an additional 600MW into the national grid.