Harare (New Ziana) – THE Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company (ZETDC) says the current increased load shedding is due to depressed generation capacity at its power stations.
According to generation statistics as of Wednesday, the Zimbabwe Power Company was producing 934 megawatts of electricity from its five power stations.
Kariba had the highest output at 751 Megawatts, followed by Hwange at 145 Megawatts while the small thermal stations were producing a combined 38 Megawatts.
In a notice, the ZETDC said the increased load curtailment which began on Monday, would last until Friday this week.
“This is due to depressed generation in the grid coupled by increased electricity demand as a result of increased economic activities,” it said.
The country requires over 2 000 Megawatts per day with regional imports, which require up to US$17 million per month, offsetting the deficit.
These have however not been consistent chiefly due to failure by the power utility to make regular payments to its regional suppliers.
In June this year, Cabinet approved the review of the electricity value chain from production to retail in order to manage the increased demand for power caused by increasing economic activity.
Increased economic activity, especially in the agricultural and mining sectors as well as the manufacturing sector, had spurred increased demand for electricity.
Additionally, ongoing massive housing and other infrastructural development projects were also leading to increased electricity consumption.
To resolve the electricity challenges, several power projects are at various stages of implementation including the expansion of the Hwange power plant by an additional two units, with the first one expected to come online in November this year.
The two units at Hwange will churn out a combined 600 Megawatts.
Zimbabwe is also working with Zambia on the 2 400 Megawatt Batoka Gorge hydro-electric power plant as the country eyes energy self-sufficiency.