Zimbabwe may have to import 500MW to meet its power deficit


The country’s current available internal generation capacity gets to around 800mgw and the power is contributed as follows: from Hwange there is a generation of up to 400mgw which we are currently obtaining.  Kariba is running between 250mgw and 300mgw and then from the small thermals there is a contribution of 30mgw, which we are currently having.  Independent power producers are contributing a total of 56mgw to make up for the 800mgw which we are generating internally.  We are also getting some imports of electricity from Eskom, which is supplying us with 100mgw and another 50mgw from utilities in Mozambique called HCB and EDM also supplying 50mgw.  ZESCO of Zambia has an agreement with ZESA for the supply of 100mgw and in total, we are getting 300mgw as power imports. 

Madam Speaker Ma’am, in order to mitigate the current shortfall that was occasioned mainly by the reduced power generation from Kariba Power Station the Ministry together with ZESA have come up with some measures.  The first one is to increase our imports, which I have already indicated that we are currently receiving 300mgw.  We intend to increase by an additional 500mgw which we are targeting to get from Mozambique and from the Southern African Power Pool.  Discussions are currently underway for an additional capacity of 150mgw from Mozambique, particularly from EDM power utility.  We will also get another 50mgw from the participation of ZESA at the Southern Africa Power Pool Electricity Market to give us an additional 200mgw over and above the 300mgw which we are currently importing.  Another measure is to ramp up local generation.  There is potential to increase generation at Hwange Power Station and I have already indicated that at the moment, we are getting 400mgw and the intention is to have it staying on the grid and sending that 400mgw.  Then from the small thermal power stations, we are intending to increase production and to obtain a contribution of 45mgw.  The independent power producers who are currently connected to the grid would be expected to contribute around 75mgw with special focus on ZEE which is to us a low hanging fruit currently sending out 17mgw but their capacity is 40mgw.  They have depressed power generation as a result of incapacitation, which we are currently working on in terms of the coal which they require for power generation.  To that end, a rescue package has been proposed from the Government to cover for additional imports, coal supply and transport costs which have been an inhibiting factor to have adequate coal supplies at the small thermal power stations. 

Discussions are currently underway with Treasury for the release of the rescue package.  The other measure is to work on the demand side management.  Intensive power users are being engaged to reduce the load and also employ efficiencies in their operations.  Domestic customers are also encouraged to implement energy conservation measures like switching off switches and also to work on the restricted use of electricity geysers and use of efficient gadgets such as efficient lights, fridges and other appliances.  Various platforms are being used like the radio, social media, television and newspapers for members of the public to be aware of the need to conserve the available electricity.

Continued next page 


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Charles Rukuni
The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.


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