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Nyangani Renewable Energy (NRE) has fully commissioned its 15MW Pungwe B power station which is currently operating at 20 percent capacity due to the limited availability of water, managing director Ian McKersie has said.

“We have finished commissioning Pungwe B which was commissioned in four stages the last unit was commissioned a fortnight ago. However we are being limited by the availability of water in our generation which has also been compounded by limitations on the grid. As a result the plant is operating at 20 percentcapacity,” he said.

Mr McKersie expressed hope that the $30 million project will be fully operational in the near future as the water levels continue to rise.

“We are hopeful that as the water levels continue to rise we will be able to generate at full capacity in the near future. The run of river power project will pump up to 45 000MWh of energy annually into the national grid,” he said.

NRE now has a total generating capacity of 21.5MW as it also runs three other power plants, namely Duru, Nyamhingura and the first phrase of Pungwe. Following the successful completion and operation of the Pungwe B project, NRE plans to build more small hydroelectric power stations to further augment the national generating capacity. Mr McKersie said it is imperative to continue developing mini hydro power plants as a way of curtailing the current power deficit in the country.

“Zimbabwe has a finite number of sites for mini hydro development and it is in the national interest that each site is developed to maximise annual energy output without overcapitalising development. It is worth pointing out that these power stations are “run-of-river” and can only operate when the rivers are flowing, so the output is seasonal,” he said

Source : The Herald

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