ZESA announces immediate 8-hour daily power cuts

BULAWAYO – Struggling state-owned power utility ZESA said Sunday it would immediately implement scheduled power cuts lasting up to eight hours daily due to depressed generation at Kariba and Hwange.

ZESA’s power distribution arm, the Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company (ZETDC), did not say how long the power cuts would go on for.

The company said in a statement: “ZETDC is experiencing a power shortfall due to generation constraints at Hwange Power Station, limited imports and a programme of dam wall rehabilitation at Kariba, which requires that two generators be taken out for 12 hours. The planned outage of the two units then restricts Kariba Power Station output during these hours.

“The power shortfall is being managed through load shedding in order to balance the power supply available and the connected load. While the power utility is doing everything possible to improve the generation capacity, customers are encouraged to use the available power sparingly.”

The power cuts will alternate between evening peak hours and morning peak hours. ZESA said it would maintain power supply to critical infrastructure like hospitals, water and sewer installations and winter wheat farmers.

On Friday, Zimbabwe was producing 1,196 megawatts (MW) against a national demand of around 1,500 MW, according to the Zimbabwe Power Company. Hydro power station Kariba, with a design capacity of 920 MW, was generating 809 MW while coal-powered Hwange was contributing 433 MW to the grid. Munyati, Bulawayo and Harare were producing 14 MW, 18 MW and 12 MW respectively.

Zimbabwe has in the past experienced deep power cuts lasting up to 18 hours due to drought and ageing equipment at its power plants.

The government contracted China’s Sinohydro to add two units of 300 MW each at Hwange, which are expected to come on stream next year.

Post published in: Featured

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *