Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

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Minister Undenge explains power cuts

Minister Undenge explains power cuts

by Debra Matabvu Sunday, May 24, 2015 | 699 views


Electricity cuts affecting many parts of Zimbabwe are being caused by technical faults in power generation plants across the Southern Africa region, Energy and Power Development Minister Dr Samuel Undenge has explained.


Dr Undenge told The Sunday Mail that due to its central geographical location, Zimbabwe was the hardest hit since the electricity interruptions were emanating from Zambia, Mozambique and South Africa.

“Our grid system is connected . . . in other words we are connected to Zambia, Malawi, South Africa, Botswana and all the electricity traffic passes through Zimbabwe because we are at the centre.

“Our six units at Kariba and four units at Hwange power station were down and this emanated from the Zambia’s Copperbelt. They had a loss of 600MW.

“So, if there is a severe power loss like the one that happened in Zambia, this will automatically affect power distribution in Zimbabwe. The recent one that happened a week ago, again the source was external; it originated from Mozambique. There was a fault at Hydro Carbora Bassa; there was a loss of load, resulting in an automatic shut down.

“Zimbabwe also encountered two power systems disturbances from South Africa and it resulted disconnection of the rest of our network save for Bulawayo Metropolitan province.

“Electricity generation at Hwange Power Station has been restored and as at today, (Friday) 397MW are generated from four units with the other remaining two units expected to be back soon.”

National energy demand stands at about 2 200MW during peak hours against installed generation capacity of 1 400MW.

Out of 1 400MW, Zesa exports 224MW to NamPower and Snel, the power utilities of Namibia and the DRC, respectively.

Like any other Sadc country, Zimbabwe is experiencing severe power shortages due to increased demand against depressed electricity generation.

Zesa’s power generation plants —Hwange, Kariba, Harare, Munyati and Bulawayo – are constantly breaking down because the equipment has outlived its lifespan.

However, load-shedding is higher in winter owing to increased electricity demand as consumers turn to gadgets such as heaters and geysers.


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