Zimbabwe power cuts ease as ZESA ups generating capacity, secures imports

HARARE – Zimbabweans will, at least for now, not continue experiencing excessive power cuts after power utility, ZESA Holdings has secured imports and also upped its generating capacity through restoration of units at Hwange Power Station to ease the crisis.

This follows weeks of depressed generation attributed to dropping water levels at Lake Kariba.

Depreciating water levels necessitated the unpopular directive by the Zambezi River Authority for the power utility to reduce power generation at the Kariba South Power Station.

The situation was compounded by the incessant breakdown of aging equipment at the Hwange Power Station which saw the plant operating with two units during the period.

In a statement Friday, ZESA announced it was reducing load shedding in the country.

“ZESA Holdings is pleased to advise its valued Stakeholders of the increasing electricity supply in the country, which has resulted in reduced load curtailment across all our customer segments.

“Our Engineers and Technicians have been working frantically to ensure increased power generation.

“Consequently, we have increased generation at the Hwange Power Station by getting the broken down Units back up, resulting in Five (5) of the Six (6) being currently operational which has increased supply to the national grid.

“This will help ease the demand supply gap during the festive break as we also anticipate reduced demand from the business.

“We have successfully managed to secure the injection of additional imports from other SAPP members to support supply until the Kariba reservoir recovers in the first quarter of next year.

“We would like to express our profound gratitude for the support and commitment we got from the Government to mobilize the much needed foreign currency,” said the company.

The Hwange Power Station expansion 7 and 8 which is set to bring an additional 600MW to the national grid has been delayed, said ZESA.

“Our valued stakeholders are advised that Hwange 7 and 8 commissioning preparations are well on course.

“To date, it is pleasing to see that the technical tests are progressing well and the Utility expects the first additional 300 Megawatts from Unit 7 soon. Every indication is that it has been built well.

“We are treading cautiously on the technical aspects so that we energize robust machinery hence the need to follow all comprehensive commissioning tests.

“Accordingly, ZESA would like to assure its valued customers that they will not experience the aggressive load curtailment they have been experiencing in the past few weeks during the festive period.

“The utility is conversant of the need to guarantee supply to the nation, and thus we not only have measures to mitigate the emergency but also opportunities to increase capacity and to improve service delivery.”

Zimbabwe’s power cuts, perhaps the worst in recent years, hit businesses and households hard as some enterprises were forced to work during the night when power supply was restored while home owners were forced to dump perishables which went bad inside refrigerators.

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