The Chronicle Africa Moyo in HWANGE HWANGE Power Station's Unit 7, which was synchronised with the national grid on Monday, has not developed any problems and engineers were planning to increase generation capacity to 150MW from last night. Once they raise output to 150MW, they will then conduct further tests today, and once the results are satisfactory, generation capacity will then be increased further to 300MW.
Such a development will considerably reduce the levels of load shedding across the country. In an interview last night, Hwange Power Station expansion project manager, Engineer Forbes Chanakira, confirmed the developments.
Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) site Engineer, Forbes Chanakira "We didn't have any problems with Unit 7 after the synchronisation. We are actually going up; we are ramping up to 150MW tonight (last night) and we will then carry out some tests which we call automatic voltage regulator test tomorrow morning (today).
"If the tests are successful, we will start ramping up to 300MW." The success of the synchronisation of Unit 7, is largely credited to the amount of time that was spent by engineers as they conducted rigorous checks.
Businesspeople and other experts, yesterday commended the coming on stream of Unit 7, saying it will improve the electricity situation in the country. In an interview, Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce immediate past president Dr Tinashe Manzungu said: "The coming of Unit 7 Dr Tinashe Manzungu definitely means more power to the citizenry.
"Again, it means that the National Development Strategy 1 has been fully supported and industries can now run with less interruption from loadshedding. If more electricity is available, winter wheat for this year shall be excellently suported while the economy will start to tick at a better level.
" Dr Manzungu added that ordinary citizens will have improved living standards with less hours of load sheding while water and sanitation will also improve due to increased water pumping. Hwange businessman and politician, Cde Reeds Dube, also said the coming in of Unit 7 will improve the availability of electricity in the country, but more importantly, demonstrates that President Mnangagwa focuses on delivering every promise he made during the 2018 election campaign period.
National Development Strategy 1 (NDS1) "It is not just Hwange that will benefit from the improved electricity generation, but the whole country," said Cde Dube. "President Mnangagwa is clearly hard working and what more can people want from him? "He is transforming the country; everywhere you go, be it Lake Gwayi-Shangani, Beitbridge Border Post upgrade, the Harare-Beitbridge road upgrade and dam construction, he has done well and is not the kind of President one can just wake up and say 'we are replacing him with this or that person'.
" Cde Dube said he was privileged to have known President Mnangagwa from the time he held various posts in the ruling Zanu PF, and knows him as a hard worker. President Mnangagwa He said each time he tried to be the first to arrive in office, he would always find President Mnangagwa in.
"So to me, development wise, he is the best for the country," said Cde Dube. Hwange Local Board Town Secretary Mr Ndumiso Mdlalose said: "As a local authority, we are very much excited, together with the rest of the country, that additional power has been connected to the national grid.
Lake Gwayi-Shangani "There is no doubt that additional power from the recently completed Unit 7 will improve productivity in various sectors of the economy in the country, thus enhancing our Gross Domestic Product. "Suffice to say, the commencement of the Hwange Thermal Power Station expansion project had already contributed significantly to the growth of the local economy through employment.
Quite a large number of locals have been employed under this power project." Mr Mdlalose added that Hwange Electricity Supply Company (Hesco), a joint venture between the Zimbabwe Power Company and Sinohydro Corporation, has already started constructing houses for its employees, which improves infrastructure in the town and widens their revenue base.
"Over and above that, additional power to the grid is also another plus to us as council, in our drive towards being an attractive investment destination with reliable power supply, among other necessities, which enhances ease of doing business," he said.