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Monday, July 15, 2024

Young Engineers part of Hwange 7 and 8 project

Story by Josephine Mugiyo, Diplomatic Correspondent

THE youth are rising to the occasion in spearheading national development, with some young engineers being part of the Hwange Unit 7 and 8 thermal power project, which is key in augmenting the country’s power supply.

Zimbabweans are masters of their own destiny as propagated by President Emmerson Mnangagwa, firmly placing confidence in young minds at various institutions of higher learning.

The President has made it clear that it is not just about taking power from the colonial regime but being in charge of the means of production.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa said, ‘‘Innovation, research and development specifically at the innovation hubs and industrial parks within institutions of higher learning have to facilitate our talented young boys and girls to invent groundbreaking clean energy technologies.’’

The Hwange 7 and 8 thermal power station expansion project is one of the Second Republic’s flagship projects.

After the ground-breaking ceremony in 2018, the project is in its final stage after the historic synchronisation of unit 7 to feed power into the national grid.

Meant to feed 300 megawatts into the national grid, the phased approach has seen more than 200 megawatts being added as of Friday last week.

From the initial phase, young engineers from the country’s tertiary institutions have been part of this key national project, working hand in glove with the main contractor, Sino-Hydro.

Their role has been key and this is a group of young people who have built confidence in their abilities and they stand tall and proud to be part of this historic project valued at over one billion United States dollars.

Engineer Romania Mundondi draws pride from her role and speaks about the anxiety and excitement of being part of the expansion of the thermal power station.

Engineer Mundondi noted, ‘‘I became a part of the project static from UZ. I came here and I was responsible for the design and monitoring of what was being done. You know the days leading to the commissioning I was anxious, but excited at the same time that we are finally putting it onto the grid.’’

Engineer Cynthia Mathe believes as young minds, they are foot soldiers spearheading national development as the country shifts focus to energy self-sufficiency.

Engineer Mathe said, ‘‘For me, this is a war, we are soldiers going to war and I’m excited to be part of this project. As the President always says we know we have a serious role to play.’’

Cynthia’s colleague, Engineer Alexander Kamwendo shares the same sentiments and takes his role seriously in spearheading national development.

Engineer Kamwendo noted, ‘‘We saw the stages through from when we started, as young Zimbabweans we have what it takes.’’

With a national demand of about 1700 megawatts, the additional 600 megawatts from Hwange Units 7 and 8 will make a huge difference.

While celebrating the victory of bringing on board unit 7, work to complete unit 8 is on course.

The Project Manager, Engineer Forbes Chanakira tells us the power plant is now complete and they are now running the transmission tests, with synchronisation expected in May.

Engineer Chanakira said, ‘‘As far as unit 8 is concerned I would like to advise the nation that as far as the power plant works are concerned we have completed. We have done the turbine rolling tests and that was successful. We are now completing works on the transmission which will enable us to evacuate both units 7 and 8.’’

The process to feed the power into the national grid is being done gradually and once the full 300 megawatts are on the national grid it will be ready for commercial use.

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