Hwange Unit 8 to contribute 300MW to the grid before June is up, Unit 7 already there

Leonard Sengere Avatar

The electricity situation in Zimbabwe keeps evolving. One day it looks like the worst might be behind us then the next, it’s firewood and candles for everyone. In my neighbourhood at least, things somewhat improved in May but by the end of the month, it had deteriorated again.

The Zimbabwe Electricity and Transmission Distribution Company (ZETDC) says it was because the brand-new Unit 7 at Hwange had been disconnected from the national grid for system evaluation.

You will recall that the 300MW Unit 7 had been delayed for a long time but was finally synchronised in March 2023. We were told that “Power will be progressively fed into the grid until it reaches 300 MW” and so we knew it would be a while before we got all that Unit 7 could offer.

ZETDC says they are now beginning the final commissioning phase of Unit 7. However, you may be glad to know it is already contributing its full 300MW to the national grid.

What about Unit 8?

There is another unit, Unit 8, which also has a capacity of 300MW that is in the works. The Hwange expansion project involves those two units, Units 7 and 8, contributing 300MW each, a total of 600MW to the grid.

We were told to expect Unit 8 to be synchronised by October. However, it’s looking like we might not have to wait that long.

Unit 8 is already being worked on and is already contributing to the grid, though not its full 300MW.

The Energy and Power Development minister said,

It was being run on commissioning tests where they were testing the turbine running capacity which was successful and also the boiler hydraulics.

What happened is that after running it for the period of the tests, they took it out of the grid in order for technicians to do evaluations before the unit is run on commercial basis.

300MW by the end of June

The ZETDC and the ministry are confident that by the end of this month (June 2023) Unit 8 will be providing 300MW to the grid. Said the minister,

We now expect that we will be having a contribution of 600MW that will be coming from the expansion project before the end of this month, the 300MW coming on commercial availability and the 300MW from Unit 8 still on commercial test

So, Unit 8 will still be on commercial test but will be contributing 300MW before this month is up. 300MW is 300MW in my book, test or no.

Now, I would take that confidence with a grain of salt. This whole expansion project was delayed for years and Unit 7 missed so many deadlines. So, we might get 300MW from Unit 8 this month or we might not, I’d say it’s at best a coin flip.

We are not in the habit of beating deadlines but I definitely would not be complaining if we beat this particular deadline. I guess with a date for the elections set, ZETDC better make sure Unit 8 is live before we hit the polls otherwise they might make the government look bad, no doubt costing them a few votes.

One then hopes we are not rushing Unit 8 to beat the election date when we haven’t completed synchronisation. Time shall tell.

Also read:

You doubted them, Hwange Unit 7 now feeding electricity into national grid

Hwange Unit 7 Synchronization. How a power generator unit is synchronized


What’s your take?

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

  1. Isaac

    I had plans for this week but with the way zesa is behaving, I might be on night shift this entire week. Unfortunately, the plans included visiting the Post Office CIC for their free wifi – not anymore.

    While ZESA’s already showing signs of recovery, I’m going to keep my hopes low.

    1. Isaac

      Change of plans 🙈

  2. Long

    ZPC is showing Hwange is producing 425MW right now. Hwange used to produce approx 100 to 300MW before Unit 7. Either the old units are not putting out their best or Unit 7 is not putting out its best. Hwange, at its best after unit 7nwas commissioned it produced far better than 425MW

    1. Short

      A check of internet archive shows either Unit 7 and/or the old units is/are under-performing

      Wayback Machine archive shows that on January 13 2023 Hwange was producing 427MW. ( This was before unit 7 was commissioned) Imagine Hwange was performing better than today on a date before unit & was commissioned!


      1. Glaurung The Dragon

        You just have to take everything they say with a grain of salt.

    2. Isaac

      They’re clearly tweaking the Units, either because of the Unit 8 or U7 is having some issues as well which I highly doubt.

      I believe there’s some pressure to get U8 up ASAP, I just hope it goes well and doesn’t damage the existing Units incl. U7.

  3. Imi Vanhu Musadaro

    The interesting thing is that in no time, load shedding will increase and another reason for load shedding will be tabled. Just give it a minute.

  4. Vc

    I have a sneaky suspicion that they might be exporting electricity.

    1. Imi Vanhu Musadaro

      There is the possibility that it is being exported and the forex stashed offshore. There was once a discussion about why there was a fierce effort to reinstate Gata despite him putting us in the current scenario. When he was reinstated, loadshedding also made it’s comeback.

  5. Fanny

    You are right about the increase of load shedding,hope all things will go well coz if they damage all units l don’t know.
    Will be praying that all things will go well.

  6. Down $tream effect$

    Off topic-ish: all that high grade coal that’s getting ‘diverted’ in SA, where is it all going?

    1. Imi Vanhu Musadaro

      Power generation, Sasol also makes fuel from coal, there are also international markets since the Russia Ukraine war.

    2. Kamikaze

      There are only 3 countries that produce high quality coal with low combustion and that is South Africa, Colombia and Russia…since Russia no longer supply coal to US allies

  7. Cyber Ghost

    “Firewood and candles”🤣😂🤣😂

2023 © Techzim All rights reserved. Hosted By Cloud Unboxed