Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

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Zesa load-shedding to continue

Zesa load-shedding to continue

Bulawayo Bureau

The Herald

2 October 2014

ZESA Holdings has warned that its intensified load-shedding will last at least another three weeks, blaming reduced imports and depressed power generation at Hwange and Kariba.The power utility yesterday gave several reasons for failing to meet the nation’s power needs, including prioritising winter wheat farming and Mozambique’s decision to reduce power supplies to Zimbabwe.


Since Zesa began its heavy load-shedding schedule last month, some households are going for up to 16 hours without power daily.


Zesa spokesperson Mr Fullard Gwasira said Kariba South Generator Number 5 which was undergoing some maintenance work was scheduled to return to service on September 25, but the unit was still out.


“The power supply situation is expected to remain subdued for the next three weeks, after which there will be an improvement as maintenance works will have been completed,” said Mr Gwasira.


He added that the unreliability of Generators 4 and 6 at Hwange Power Station have contributed to the intensity of load shedding and the impact of this outage is 150 megawatts from the grid.


Mr Gwasira said since last month, more electricity was being channelled to the agriculture sector, but load shedding was restricted to non-wheat farmers and domestic consumers.


“After widespread consultations with agricultural stakeholders, a strategic decision in the national interest was taken from September 10, 2014, to support the winter crop, which was now experiencing severe moisture stress and required a final round of irrigation.


“A total of 80MW is being channelled to the wheat crop sector,” said Mr Gwasira.


Mr Gwasira also said the country’s primary source of power imports, Hidroelectrica de Cahora Bassa (HCB) in Mozambique, now supplies ZETDC with 50 megawatts, down from 400 megawatts.


This, he said, was owing to demand for electricity at coal fields in Mozambique’s Tete which has peaked significantly.


Mr Gwasira said the power utility was working towards improving the current situation and urged customers to use electricity wisely.


“The power utility apologies to its valued customers for the inconvenience this has caused and is doing its best to address the current challenges to improve the power supply situation.


“During these difficult times, customers can assist by using power very sparingly,” said Mr Gwasira.


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