ZESAs bleak predictions

powercut_zimbabweHARARE Struggling Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA) Holdings has warned of extended power outages starting on Friday due to the mandatory shutdown of Kariba Power Station, the company announced at the weekend. (Pictured: Power cuts in Zimbabwe con

The announcement by the power utility comes at a time when the country has been experiencing serious power outages. ZESA Holdings would like to advise all its valued customers countrywide that the Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) will be conducting its mandatory annual maintenance at Kariba Power Station from April 16 to May 21 2010, ZESA said in a statement. The exercise will witness an increase in load shedding outside the publicised schedule until the power supply situation improves on the May 22 2010. ZESA, which currently owes regional suppliers some US$100 million, blames its woes on ageing equipment and low tariff billing locally.

In the meantime, ZESA will alleviate the situation through increased generation at Hwange Power Station and a possible increase in power imports, the company said. ZESAs inability over the years to boost generation capacity at its ageing power stations and a critical shortage of foreign currency to import adequate electricity from neighbouring countries has left Zimbabwe grappling with severe power shortages. The Zimbabwean energy firm says cash-rich foreign investors remain reluctant to provide funding badly needed to boost power generation because of uncertainty about the countrys future political and economic direction.

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