Crippling power shortage looms

via Crippling power shortage looms – NewsDay Zimbabwe August 28, 2015

ZIMBABWE’s biggest power producer the Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) could be forced to shut down for two months in a move that is likely to plunge the country into darkness.


In a statement yesterday, ZPC confirmed that water level problems being faced by the Zambezi River Authority (ZRA) would force generation capacity to go down by almost 50% in the next few months.

“The Zambezi River Authority (ZRA) has done an analysis of the situation and made presentations to stakeholders, including the two power utilities namely ZESCO (Zambian electricity producer) and ZPC.

“It has been determined that continuing at current levels of power generation would result in the lake falling below the minimum drawdown level of 475,5 metres before the onset of the next rainy season, hopefully in November 2015, with a possible shut-down of the station for two months,” ZPC said.

“The water allocation was then revised downwards from 45 to 40 billion cubic metres shared equally between ZESCO and ZPC operating the power stations on the northern and southern banks respectively”.

According to ZPC, during the hydrological years of 2014 to 2015, Lake Kariba received significantly lower water inflows “compared to last year and the long-term mean flows”.

“This, coupled with high generation at the Kariba complex, has resulted in the lake level continuing to decline.
The lake level at the end of July 2015 was 480,81 metres above sea level. This is 1,05% or five metres below the lake level for the same period in 2014 which was set at 485,91 metres,” ZPC said.

With President Robert Mugabe’s government grappling with a debilitating economic crisis, the power crisis that has continued to dog the already desperate economic situation is likely to keep investors on the fence.

Early this week in his State of the Nation Address, Mugabe outlined his government’s 10-point plan of action meant to revitalise the economy including resuscitation of the manufacturing sector.

Energy will need to play a key role in this plan and the gloomy situation at Kariba will not help matters.

ZPC said ZRA had allowed Kariba North (Zambia) to generate 305 megawatts (MW), while Kariba South (Zimbabwe) would generate 405MW of electricity down from its current average of 705MW.

Zimbabwe requires just over 2 000MW of electricity at peak consumption.


  • comment-avatar
    R Judd 7 years ago

    Hey this is unpatriotic. The great ZANU way is to pump until the well is dry and then blame somebody else. Who are they going to blame this time?

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    jongwe power 7 years ago

    It doesn’t help that there has not been a single power plant of any sort built between the 1973 and now. All those wonderful plans we were promised since Independence. Solar farms, wind turbines on hills, mini hydro-electric stations for every dam in this country, technologies that turn methane gas from sewage and landfills into electricity. What ever happened to those wonderful-sounding plans? Or were they just spouted to keep the electorate distracted while the chiefs continue pocketing the money for 50-room mansions and Hong Kong bank accounts?

  • comment-avatar
    william mills 7 years ago

    Yet again, we see written that, “Zimbabwe requires just over 2000MW of electricity at peak consumption”. ‘Ho-Ho-Ho’, said Santa Claus. ‘But the people of Zimbabwe can and will only pay for 300mw provided it is priced well below the cost of production, any more than that and it is either looted or given to the ZANU cadres’. He continued. ‘This means that any investment in an electric utility will never be recovered. When one couples that with the incompetence and perfidy of SSA governments, the future is painfully and tearfully predictable’. He explained. ‘Zimbabwe in less than 2-generations has gone from ‘the pearl of Africa’, to 85% ruin. with this data a graph can be plotted which shows the slope to ruin which started out at 100 in 1980 and is now at 15. This means it has declined over 2.4% per year. Some years were steeper than others. All other SSA countries have similar ruin slopes. But there is always Haiti who has been independent since the time of Napoleon’. but that is another story’ He said as he rushed up the chimney and dashed off after quickly turning north.

  • comment-avatar

    We have coal, we have gas – what we don’t have is intelligence.

    And still we hear talk of this stupid 300MW “solar” thing?