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Coronavirus outbreak affects renovations at Hwange Power Station

Due to the global Coronavirus outbreak, Zimbabwe has had to halt renovations at Hwange Power Station.

Zimbabwe’s Energy Minister Fortune Chasi told NewZimbabwe.com that Chinese nationals employed by contractors working on Hwange’s 6, 7 and 8 Units are being held up in China.

This means very little is being done to alleviate a power crisis that has troubled the country since last year.

“Renovations at Hwange are going on but they have been affected by the Coronavirus.

“A significant number of the contractors’ staff is still in China, but we have no doubt that will come to pass and we will cruise at lightning speed towards completion of the project,” said Chasi.

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According to local media, this comes a few weeks after Chinese Ambassador Guo Shaochun pleaded with the Asian stockholders operating in Zimbabwe to allow their workers to stay in China until the raging virus is contained.

Most Chinese nationals are now stuck in their homeland after visiting family over their Lunar New Year holiday, a very important period within their culture, according to Ambassador Guo.

The Coronavirus, which broke out in China’s Wuhan City towards the end of 2019 has already claimed over 3,280 deaths in 34 countries.

Water levels at Lake Kariba 

Meanwhile Chasi stated water levels at Lake Kariba have risen to 11. 3% from a critical 6% last year after the January rains.

He however said power cuts being experienced among Zimbabweans will not be stopping anytime soon.

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“So far we are happy that the inflows in Kariba have improved, that is different from saying there is going to be a resultant power increase but we are happy,” said Chasi.

“We are at about 11. 3% shared between us and Zambia but we are quite bullish about the developments in the power sector. We believe that the months of March and April will see some significant gains in terms of megawatts,” he said.

Babalwa Bungane
Babalwa Bungane is the content producer for ESI Africa - Clarion Events Africa. Babalwa has been writing for the publication for over five years. She also contributes to sister publications; Smart Energy International and Power Engineering International. Babalwa is a social media enthusiast.