Power cuts thing of the past: Zesa

THE Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company (ZETDC) says power shortages which were a nightmare to domestic users past few months were now a thing of the past after the power utility recently increased its generating capacity and also invented power saving methods.

ZESA-Pylons-250ZETDC Managing Director Engineer Julian Chinembiri told journalists in Harare Tuesday his organisation was now able to meet domestic demand, something that has seen a significant decrease in load shedding.

Chinembiri attributed the relative stability to consistent power generation now at Hwange Power Station which has a daily output of 500 megawatts.

He also said the installation of pre-paid meters in some homes which has helped limit users to only the electricity use they require.

“Power supply in the country is now stable and the demand for electricity has gone down as the power utility has no power shortages at the moment,” Chinembiri said.

“Our agreement with South Africa’s electricity utility company Electricity Supply Commission (ESKOM) has helped stabilise the situation and we encourage people who are experiencing power shortages or problems to report these low voltage faults.”

Chinembiri urged winter wheat farmers not to panic as the power utility will also manage the load during winter.

He also said the Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) would soon re-commission a 30 megawatt plant in Harare to increase the grid adding the company would be installing 38 000 prepaid meters with no costs in consumers’ homes.

“The first batch to come in June will be installed and customers should report those selling the meters because they are for free,” he said.

Recurrent power cuts had become a major worry for electricity users who were last year spending up to 18 hours a day without the utility.

Industry was equally affected, the easiest option being to scale down on production, something that tended to increase the cost of the products in an economic environment threatened by an influx of cheap imports from South Africa.

The country requires 2 200 megawatts per day which the struggling parastatal has been struggling to meet.

The crisis also created a thriving market for generators, solar panels and gas stoves as citizens turned to alternative forms of power to maintain comfortable lifestyles.

During his briefing, Engineer Chinembiri however, expressed concern over the vandalism and theft of equipment such as conductors.

“Our main worry at the moment is the vandalism of conductors and copper cables by thieves who are rushing to areas where we are changing copper to aluminium.

“Thieves are taking oil and copper but, I am happy to say the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) and Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (ZIMRA) are helping us deal with such issues,” he said.

 

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