Several parts of Zimbabwe have been left without electricity after a fire broke out at the country’s largest thermal power station near the border with Zambia on Wednesday night.The Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA) said one of the units at Hwange Power Station caught fire around 5pm (1500 GMT) on Wednesday, forcing the power utility to implement an unscheduled load-shedding programme that affected most parts of the country.
“The fire broke out in the Unit 1 boiler as a result of a leak in the diesel supply line and lasted for about 40 minutes,” ZESA board chairman Sydney Gata said in a statement on Thursday.
There were no casualties arising from the fire, he added.
The official assured Zimbabweans that normal supply was expected to resume on Thursday following maintenance work.
The fire resulted in load at two other power generation units being suspended to avoid damage.
“We are in the process of firing the two units to restore power supply to the national grid,” he said.
With an installed capacity of 920 megawatts, Hwange is Zimbabwe’s largest thermal power plant.