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Zimbabwe power system loses 800MW due to unidentified fault

On Tuesday, Zimbabwe’s power system lost 800MW of power as a result of an ‘unknown’ incident that occurred at Insukamini near Bulawayo, which caused the country to lose all power imports, News Day reported.

Zimbabwe power system restored

According to the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA) Holdings – the southern African country’s biggest electricity producer and regulating company – stakeholder relations manager Fullard Gwasira, the system disturbance occurred around 5:15am and resulted in the country losing power imports from Hydro Cahora Bassa, South Africa and Zambia.

Gwasira said: “All power stations except Hwange tripped when the disturbance happened. Hwange Power Station did not trip because of the work that we have been undertaking.

“Our engineers are working on the issue and by the end of the day (yesterday) power would be restored and so far 95% of the power has been restored.”

System not operating at full capacity

According to Gwasira, the country was operating off 300MW capacity, adding that the Kariba dam has received significant water flows mainly from DRC through Zambia, but these were not enough to run the power station at full throttle.

News Day reported that the Kariba Power Station has been battling to meet its intended generating capacity due to the country’s lack of rainfall.

With a needed 2,000MW of power to be generated per day, the utility has entered into various power purchase agreements with regional power utilities, media reported.

Various power projects that include solar, biogas and hydro-electricity were currently underway to boost output for Zimbabwe.

Ashley Theron
Ashley Theron-Ord is based in Cape Town, South Africa at Clarion Events-Africa. She is the Senior Content Producer across media brands including ESI Africa, Smart Energy International, Power Engineering International and Mining Review Africa.