Power Shortages

HARARE - ZESA Holdings has allayed fears of crippling power shortages this year saying it had secured the US$30 million required for an immediate overhaul of four generating units at its Hwange Thermal Power Station. 
The power utility was importing 150 megawatts (MW) from neighbouring coun

tries to make up for the shortage of electricity.  Although it was not made clear how much power the overhaul of the four generating units would add to current output, the initiative is expected to reduce the import bill.
Despite the imports, the country continued to experience serious power shortages and the utility resorted to regular spells of load shedding for both industrial and domestic users.
ZESA board chairman Chris Chetsanga said the overhaul of the generating units at Hwange now would be completed earlier than expected. This statement is in marked contrast to his recent warning that the country faced even more crippling power shortages than last year.
The company’s immediate plans were to raise generating capacity at Hwange to 600 MW and the whole expansion exercise was expected to gobble US$600 million.  Chetsanga was also optimistic the country would secure availability of electricity by investing in the various projects around the country.
These include Kariba South (600 MW), Batoka Hydro (800 MW), Gokwe or Sengwa (1200 MW), mini hydros (320 MW) and Lupane Gas (100 MW).  If all these potential power-generating projects were developed the country would have an additional 3000 MW. This would be well in excess of the country’s requirements, which stand below an estimated 2 500 MW.

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