via More power cuts loom – NewsDay Zimbabwe September 2, 2015
POWER generation at Kariba Power Station is expected to be reduced by over 36% to 475 megawatts (MW) due to depleted water resources from the Kariba Dam.
BY VICTORIA MTOMBA
This is set to worsen the power crisis in the country.
Kariba Power Station is a hydro-power station with an installed capacity of 750MW, the biggest power plant in Zimbabwe.
In a statement yesterday, Zesa Holdings said generation from Kariba Power Station would be reduced to 475MW from the normal 750MW until the dam levels have risen to the requisite levels.
“Zesa Holdings would like to advise its valued customers countrywide of the reduction in generation at Kariba Power Station due to depleted dam water levels, commencing on Tuesday 1 September 2015, in compliance with the Zambezi River Authority requirement to scale down on water consumption. Consumers will experience suppressed power supplies until generation is brought back to normal levels,” the power utility said.
Zesa said its generating subsidiary, Zimbabwe Power Company, would carry out annual statutory maintenance at Kariba due to reduced units in service at the power station beginning this month to January 28, 2016.
The power utility said units at Hwange Power station will also undergo statutory maintenance, which would be completed by October 7 to ensure greater safety and reliability going forward.
The power cuts have been a major challenge in Zimbabwe and other countries in the region.
Zimbabwe is working on power projects in the next five years that require $5 billion and include solar, hydro and thermals.
Zesa is working on the extension of Kariba South, which will add two units of 150MW each at a cost of over $350 million.
Chinese firm, Sino Hydro, will carry out the expansion, which will be completed in 2018.
Sino Hydro also has a contract to carry out the $1,3 billion expansion works at Hwange Power Station. The expansion would add 600MW to the grid made up of two units of 300MW each. The project is expected to be completed in 2018.
The country generates about 1 300MW against a demand of 2 200MW.
Zimbabwe relies on imports from Hydro Cahora Bassa of Mozambique, while other regional countries provide power to the country when they can.