ELECTRICITY outages are set to continue until February next year due to maintenance work being carried out at the country’s major power stations in Kariba and Hwange, Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC), has said.
Report by Staff Reporter
ZPC is a subsidiary of Zesa Holdings.
“Now that the winter period has come to an end, we wish to advise the public that we will be carrying out planned outages for maintenance at the power stations with effect from the 2nd of September 2013 to the 2nd of February 2014,” ZPC said yesterday in a statement.
“Please note that we have requested ZETDC (Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company) to source for additional power while we carry out maintenance work. We would like to apologise for any inconvenience that these outages may cause and urge members of the public to use electricity sparingly.”
ZPC added that the region was also facing a severe shortage of electricity hence it would not be possible to import additional power to cover shortfalls.
“ZPC remains committed to supplying power to the nation. However, because of the severe electricity shortage in the region, we cannot import more and ZPC’s power output will only increase after the generation expansion projects have been implemented and completed by 2018, subject to availability of funding,” ZPC said.
ZPC, which operates the country’s five power stations, said the smaller power stations, namely Harare, Bulawayo and Munyati were yielding little due to obsolete machinery.
“The challenges being experienced at the small thermal stations are a result of the obsolescence of plant and equipment. This has adversely affected the availability and reliability of the plant. The stations are being operated well beyond their design life, hence, the costs of production at these stations are also high,” ZPC said.
Meanwhile, a senior official at the power utility told NewsDay that the company has not yet received the directive to cancel electricity bills.
Vice-President Joice Mujuru recently said Zanu PF wanted Zesa to cancel outstanding bills in order to lessen the burden on residents.
“We are yet to receive that directive. I do not think they will be scrapped, you know politicians,” the source said.