Farirai Machivenyika–Senior Reporter
Zimbabwe is negotiating with Mozambique and Zambia to import 280MW of electricity to ease the shortages that have seen load shedding, Energy and Power Development Minister Zhemu Soda told the National Assembly yesterday during the Question and Answer session.
Zimbabwe faces reduced generation capacity. Zesa can generate around 400MW at Hwange, as it continues to rehabilitate the boiler-turbine-generator units to restore the 920MW capacity and add another 600MW with the third phase now under construction.
Kariba South is producing 900MW from an installed capacity of 1 050MW. But two turbines have to be shut down daily for 12 hours to reduce the outflow downstream of the dam wall while rehabilitation work continues on the plunge pool and the outflows from the power stations. Both of these mean that power supplies are inadequate during peak hours.
Said Minister Soda: “We are currently in negotiations with Mozambique for an additional 180MW and also a further 100MW from Zambia.”
Zimbabwe already imports from Mozambique and South Africa, but now seeks more from Mozambique as well as tapping into Zambia’s surplus.
In addition, the guaranteed power supply to wheat farmers would soon be reduced as the crop finished growing and farmers moved to harvest.
Minister Soda said the opening up of the economy following periods of extended lockdown had led to a surge in demand for power, resulting in load shedding being experienced.
ZESA Holdings’ electricity transmission unit, ZETDC, released a time table for load shedding over the weekend.
ZETDC said power generation had been affected by generation constraints and limited imports, which saw the power utility unveiling a load shedding schedule. Consumers were encouraged to use available power sparingly.
Meanwhile, Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development Minister, Professor Amon Murwira, who was the acting Leader of Government business in the National Assembly yesterday, defended institutions that were not accepting employees or visitors that are unvaccinated against Covid-19 in their premises.
He said vaccination had been proven the world over to be the best way to fight Covid-19.
Unvaccinated civil servants are no longer allowed into their work stations while a number of private enterprises have also adopted a similar approach.
Zimbabwe is among the leading nations on vaccination on the continent and has taken delivery of over 11 million doses, enough to vaccinate at least five million people and has set up supply chains that will ensure continued deliveries as they are needed.