Zimbabwe Implements Daily 12 Hour Power Cuts 

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  • Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company (ZETDC) announced yesterday that it has begun daily 12-hour power cuts due to limited generation at its thermal plant and repairs on the dam at Kariba Hydro Power Station.

The company “is experiencing a power shortfall due to generation constraints at Hwange Power Station, limited imports, and a programme of dam wall rehabilitation at Kariba,” ZETDC said in a statement.

The power shortfall is being managed through load shedding in order to “balance the power supply available and the connected load.”

Zimbabwe has an installed capacity of 2,100 megawatts but generates an average of 1,200 to 1,300 megawatts with the shortfall being met through imports from South Africa and Mozambique.

Related news: Zimbabwe announces 66.6 MW of renewable energy projects under construction

A smattering of small hydro plants run by independent power producers (IPP’s) also contribute to power generation in Zimbabwe. Currency shortages has left IPP with USD 8 million in outstanding debt from off offtaker ZETDC. ZETDC wants to pay the IPP in Zimbabwe dollars instead of US dollars as agreed. Read more  

Zimbabwe has been struggling to attract solar and wind IPP’s to invest in their country despite promises of tax holidays for off-grid solar projects. Read more

Populist announcements like the one that ex Eskom COO, Matshela Koko, was awarded a 100MW solar PV project in the country does little to instil international investor confidence. Read more

Zimbabwe’s renewable energy programme has never quite got off the ground since larger than life Zimbabwean businessman, Wicknell Chivayo, signed a number of power deals back in 2012 with power utility Zesa Holdings and its subsidiary, the Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) and did not deliver on the contracts. Read more

Wicknell Chivayo pictured with his Jimmy Choo shoes. Chivayo and his company Intratek won a tender to construct the 100Mw Gwanda Solar Project in Zimbabwe. He was advanced US 5.6 million for the project’s pre-commencement works and has nothing to show for it. Image credit: Wicknall Chivayo

Author: Bryan Groenendaal


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