Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) missed its output target during the first quarter (Q1) to March 31, 2021 by 3.71% largely due to negative effects of Covid-19 and depressed power generation at Hwange Power Station, Business Times can report.
ZPC, a power generation unit of ZESA Holdings, produced 1 745.70GWh against a target of 1 813.02GWh.
Despite missing the target, the numbers, however, were positive as the output was 34.92% above the output for the prior comparative period.
“Apart from the effects of Covid , the first quarter of 2021 was a challenging period for the organisation as generation was depressed at Hwange Power Station,’ ZPC said.
Exacerbating the situation was that the country’s largest coal-fired plant, Hwange Power Station, operated with an average of two units during the reviewed period against the target of five units.
Unit three was unavailable for the whole period under review as it is undergoing an extended major overhaul.
Consequently, the power station sent out 411.42GWh of power, missing its quarterly target by 55.78%.
ZPC said reliability of Unit 1,4 and 5 was also affected because of overdue planned outages and the fire incident which occurred in February which caused extensive damage to units 1 and 2. Unit 6 was also unavailable towards the end of January.
However, to compensate for the low generation at the Hwange Thermal Plant, Kariba South Power Station stepped up its energy generating levels, after the Zambezi River Authority increased water allocation for power generation to Kariba Power Station.
“Zambezi River Authority allocated 308m3 of water to ZESCO Kariba’s North Power Station and Kariba South Power Plant for generation in 2021.This translates to Kariba Power Station having an annual water allocation of 15Bm3, which corresponds to the annual average capacity of 381megawatts (MW).
More so, by the end of the period under review, the Kariba Power Station had utilised 15,71Bm3 of water generated at an average of 594 MW, hence the station remained with 9.57Bm3 enough for generation for the remainder of the year,” ZPC said.
There was also constrained power generation at the smaller thermal power stations largely due coal stockouts and low boiler plant availability.
They sent out 50.69GWh during the reviewed period against a target of 76.98GWh.