25 June 2013 – Zimbabwe’s power demand traditionally peaks during the winter season as a result of an increase in commercial and domestic use. A report produced by the Zimbabwe Power Corporation (ZPC) indicates that the maximum actual demand for the country is 2,100 MW, with expected maximum average of 1,800 MW expected for the 2013 winter period.
The idea of a winter generation plan was conceived out of the need to ensure that ZPC achieves maximum possible generation during this season, reducing the extent to which consumers will be load shed. All the utility’s power stations underwent intensive maintenance to ensure that demand is met during winter.
Kariba power station underwent intensive maintenance and is expected to provide 750 MW up from 650 MW. All six units at Hwange power station were expected to be operational from the first of June 2013, the country’s largest coal fired power station having been producing at about 520 MW earlier in the year. Bulawayo power station was expected to have increased its capacity by 30 MW by the 1st of June, raising its capacity up to some 56 MW. Munyati power station was expected to increase its capacity to 40 MW from under 30 MW previously once maintenance on a boiler plant was completed.
The Harare power station resumed operations and was sending out 15 MW earlier in 2013, after having been closed late in 2012 due to depleting coal stocks. Further work in progress at the power station was to have seen its capacity increase to 30 MW from June 2013.
ZPC says it has ensured there is sufficient coal at the power stations for production of electricity. The company engaged its coal suppliers, Hwange Colliery and Makom Resources, which made the commitment to supply enough coal for the winter period.