Zimbabwe’s only hydro-electricity plant, Kariba Power Station, needs revamping if the country is to meet its goals of increasing power generation to meet national demand and produce surplus for regional export.
Speaking at the Medium Term Plan (MTP) 2011-2015 provincial launch in Chinhoyi last week, Economic Planning and Investment Promotion minister Tapuwa Mashakada said the country needed 2 200 megawatts of electricity against a current production capacity of 1 960MW, with Kariba contributing 750MW which translates to 34% to the national grid.
“The total demand for electricity is 2 200MW, but our country produces 1 960MW which is only 63% of the total demand. At the moment, Kariba contributes 750MW so there is urgent need to revamp it to produce adequate power that would partly contribute to our overall national economic development strategy as highlighted in Article III of the Global Political Agreement,” he said.
The country’s four thermal power stations at Hwange, Munyati, Harare and Bulawayo have a cumulative production capacity of 1 210MW.
A critical energy deficit has pushed tariffs up but without corresponding availability of electricity to drive industry and commerce operations. Excessive power outages had negatively affected efforts to revive the economy, Mashakada said.