Power back on after massive blackout

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ZIMBABWE Electricity Distribution and Transmission Company (ZETDC) yesterday said it has managed to rectify the problems that caused a massive blackout in the country on Monday.

BY VICTORIA MTOMBA

In an interview yesterday, ZETDC managing director Julian Chinembiri said the blackout was due to problems on the national grid which is interconnected with Zambia.

Chinembiri said the country had shed off 400 megawatts (MW) due to the blackout and as of yesterday, power stood at 1 015MW.
He said Munyati Power Station was back up and Hydro Cahora Bassa was providing 80MW out of the 100MW, adding that the third unit at Hwange was expected to be up by end of day yesterday.

“We started working flat out on Monday evening. Kariba is now running and two units out of the six are running in Hwange. Both Harare and Bulawayo power stations are working and producing 30MW and 22MW, respectively,” he said.

Chinembiri said Cahora Bassa was affected due to high voltage, but was now working. Hwange and Kariba were affected on Monday due to the problems on the national grid.

Chinembiri said Zambia experienced problems on the left Copperbelt and one of the units had been affected.
It pushed the problems to the Zimbabwe side’s network.

As of last Friday, power output stood at 1 153MW.

Most parts of the country were plunged into darkness due to the blackout.

The country is working on various energy projects that require close to $5 billion and have a potential to produce 3 500MW in the next five to six years.

The country has not been investing in power generation since Independence and is in the process of investing in the sector.
Most businesses in the country have been affected by the power shortages and have put in place standby generators to use when there are power challenges.

Zimbabwe, like other countries in the region, is facing power challenges due to the high demand for electricity.
The country introduced the rural electrification programme which has increased the demand of electricity on the national grid.

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