Good news for Zimbabwe’s struggling electricity system: Hwange Thermal Power Station Unit 7 is set to return to the national grid on Monday, adding 300MW of extra power.
The unit had been taken offline for further testing after recently being synchronized, but reliability tests have now been completed successfully. Final commissioning evaluations are finished, paving the way for the unit’s commercial operation.
Its return comes at a crucial time. Since March, Zimbabwe has benefited from increased generation after Hwange Unit 7 started operating. But the country still suffers regular load shedding that hampers businesses.
Along with higher water allocations at the Kariba hydroelectric dam, Zimbabwe’s total output has hit 1,200MW – up from below 400MW earlier in the year.
Once Hwange Unit 8 also synchronizes, expected later this month, a total of 600MW will be added from the newly expanded power station. Built at a cost of $1.4 billion, Hwange Units 7 and 8 aim to meet Zimbabwe’s economic growth targets.