ENERGY and Power Development minister Dzikamai Mavhaire yesterday said current electricity shortages will ease at the end of the month when Zesa is expected to complete the maintenance of eight units at Hwange and Kariba power stations.
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Mavhaire told journalists in Harare the power outages that have worsened in the past two weeks were caused by maintenance work being undertaken by the Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) 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,” Mavhaire said. “This means that some unit outages have to overlap.
“We expect the current situation to continue to improve. The breakdowns at Hwange and the transmission challenges have been resolved.
“The power supply is expected to improve steadily and reach acceptable levels by the end of October.”
Mavhaire said Zimbabwe had had a shortfall of 563 megawatts (MW) of electricity due to maintenance works as the local power stations produced 1 167MW.
He said the Hwange station was producing 470MW from four units while Kariba was generating 500MW.
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Other small thermal power stations contribute 47MW to the grid. Mavhaire said only 200MW were being imported from Hydro Cahora Bassa in Mozambique.
Zimbabwe uses 1 730MW in summer and 2 200MW at peak in winter.
He also revealed that his deputy Munacho Mutezo went to the Democratic Republic of Congo to negotiate for power from Inga, but a deal is yet to be finalised.
He said the ministry will prioritise winter wheat production and tobacco production as it costs less to provide farmers with power compared to importing wheat.