Electricity shortages to get worse

via Electricity shortages to get worse – The Zimbabwe Independent October 23, 2015

Zimbabwe’s perennial energy crisis is set to worsen by year end after it emerged the country’s sole hydroelectric power plant, Kariba Hydropower Station, will further reduce its generating capacity by more than half to below 300 megawatts (MW).

Fidelity Mhlanga

Energy minister Samuel Undenge said yesterday power output from Kariba, which dropped from 750MW in August to current levels of 475MW, will drop further to a meagre 280MW by December, plunging the country into unsustainably long periods of darkness. Faced with this precarious situation that spells doom for industry, cabinet has approved the setting up of emergency diesel power plant which will trigger a significant electricity tariff increase for the long suffering Zimbabweans.

Cabinet agreed to set up a diesel power plant in Mutare by February 2016 to avert a worsening energy crisis that will have devastating repercussions on industry operating on a capacity utilisation of 33,6%.

“The immediate solution to avert a near disaster if we have low rainfall in the next season is to install what are called emergency power plants,” Undenge told captains of industry at a Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce meeting in Harare.

“These are modules of diesel generators which can be installed in the shortest possible time.” Undenge said.
“We were given eight to 12 weeks to cover for the shortfall at Kariba. We are already working on installing these as early as February 2016. We will start with plants with a capacity of 200MW. This has already been approved by cabinet.”

Undenge said to alleviate power shortages, government has to increase the tariffs which significantly affect business already grappling with a plethora of viability challenges. This will also affect household users who are burdened by low salaries and lack of income due to company closures and retrenchments. “I have no doubt that your experience so far with these generators is that they are convenient but are expensive to run. Tariff adjustments are inevitable in 2016, but we will make sure that these will be minimal,” said Undenge.

“Zambia recently announced a tariff hike of almost 100%. The situation we are in is not normal and therefore we need to bite the bullet. Power is not going to come cheaply. We will have to sacrifice if we are to lessen our shedding hours,”

He said although the cost of generating power from diesel is 35c/kwh, emergency power plants tariff will be blended with those of both hydro and thermal to stand at 14c/kwh up from an average of 10c/kwh.

COMMENTS

WORDPRESS: 4
  • comment-avatar
    Zambuko 6 years ago

    One has to enjoy the spectacle of the Energy Mister’s swinging into action to ameliorate the effects of the shortage of electricity in Zimbabwe caused by poor weather forecasting and not by anything HERGM’s government did or failed to do in the past, perish the thought. SU in action man mode is a wonder to behold and so characteristic of the quality of leadership incubated during HERGM’s tenure. We must count ourselves lucky that we live to see and experience such wonders. Can world peace be far behind?

  • comment-avatar

    It looks like Mugabe is succeeding in his efforts to rid the country of all traces of western culture. After all, electricity is an invention of the white man, so get rid of it! Come to think of it, isn’t money a white conspiracy too? Mugabe is really moving forward nicely with his plan to rid the country of money too. Africa for Africans, right!

  • comment-avatar
    Mugarbage 6 years ago

    Africa for Africans, so don’t get on the boat to Europe and live the joys of indigenisation on your plot of maize land. Mbuya Nehanda and Lobengula managed allright without electricity too.

  • comment-avatar
    Mlimo 6 years ago

    Doesn’t diesel just flow out of a stone in Zimbabwe? But they have land they must be happy.
    Please don’t complain about white mans electricity. Oh they’re going to blame the west for stealing their electricity next? What happens when the diesel generators breakdown coz surely they will ?
    Firewood is free go and chop some trees down.