The current power outages are set to ease by the end of this month, the Minister of Energy and Power Development, Dzikamai Mavhaire said yesterday.
Maintenance of the Hwange and Kariba power stations were causing the on-going load shedding, the minister said, adding that the exercise was expected to be complete by end of October.
Mavhaire told journalists at a Press conference in Harare yesterday that the Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) had been carrying out statutory and rehabilitation work since the beginning of September.
“ZPC will also carry out plant upgrade and rehabilitation works during these planned outages with durations varying from three weeks on eight units during the off peak season maintenance windows. This means that some unit outages have to overlap.
“We expect the current situation to improve. The breakdowns at Hwange and the transmission have been resolved. The power supply is expected to improve steadily and reach acceptable levels by the end of October,” Mavhaire said.
He said the country was currently experiencing a power shortfall of 563 megawatts due to the maintenance work.
The country is currently generating 1167 megawatts of power against a demand of 2 200 megawatts.
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Mavhaire said Hwange Power Station was producing 470 megawatts from four units in operation while at Kariba Power station four units were producing 500 megawatts. Small thermal power stations were producing 47 megawatts.
He said a total of 200 megawatts were being imported from Hydro Cahorra Bassa in Mozambique. Zesa was also exporting 50 megawatts to Nampower of Namibia to meet its contractual obligations.
Mavhaire said the maximum demand for the country was 1 730 megawatts in summer and 2 200 megawatts at the peak of winter.
He said his deputy Munacho Mutezo went to DR Congo to negotiate for power from Inga hydro power station in that country, but the deal was yet to be finalised.
He said the ministry would prioritise winter wheat production and tobacco production as it cost less to provide farmers with power compared to importing wheat.