Power cuts: Sweet relief for consumers

via Power cuts: Sweet relief for consumers | The Sunday Mail 2015/10/04

Load shedding could soon ease as 400MW will be fed into Zimbabwe’s national electricity grid following completion of routine maintenance at four key thermal power stations. Government also wants to increase power imports from Mozambique’s Hydro Cahora Bassa and to streamline electricity consumption by some companies.

Hwange, Harare, Bulawayo and Munyati thermal power stations have been undergoing mandatory refurbishments and were feeding limited supplies into the national grid.

This — coupled with Kariba Hydro Power Station’s inhibited capacity due to low dam levels — saw the country generate just 700MW in recent weeks against demand of 2 200MW.

With maintenance complete, Hwange will now feed over 600MW into the national grid and the other three plants a cumulative 300 MW-plus.
The refurbishments have unlocked an additional 300MW at Hwange and 100MW at the other power stations.
Kariba is generating 475MW.

Energy and Power Development Minister Dr Samuel Undenge exclusively told The Sunday Mail that authorities expected the present scale of load shedding to recede in the interim.

“The situation is going to improve as all six units at Hwange Thermal Power Station are now functioning, generating almost 600MW. Electricity generation is going to increase.

“If we add what Hwange and Kariba are producing to the power being generated at plants like Harare, Bulawayo and Munyati, severe electricity cuts will no longer be there.”

Dr Undenge said his ministry was negotiating for an additional 100MW from Mozambique’s HCB.
Zimbabwe has always imported 50MW from that plant, and started receiving a further 40MW some two weeks ago. Now the country wants to top up on this.

HCB’s generation capacity has not been diminished by Zambezi River’s low volumes as it is downstream of the giant water body.
Dr Undenge added that there were plans to streamline electricity consumption by certain major companies following indications that they are using inefficient and high energy-consuming equipment. He said Cabinet will — at its next sitting — would consider these and other interim measures.

“We are expecting more power from Mozambique as the negotiations are now at an advanced stage. So, really, the issue of massive power-cuts will come to an end.

“I am not in a position to give you more details, but we have some companies which are using old and less efficient equipment. We are going to direct Zesa to reduce power supplies to them. They must move with the times and use efficient equipment to save energy.”

On the situation in Kariba and criticism about his apparent inaction, he said: “Are we responsible for drought? It is beyond human control. No one has commended Government for the steady supply of electricity in winter. Now that we have a minor setback – which we have dealt with – there is a lot of noise.

“It’s not nice for me to always be in the newspapers instead of delivering energy to the people. I am a man of action. The electricity situation is not as bad as we are made to believe by the media.

“The whole Southern African region is facing electricity problems, but we are working to ensure that we deliver electricity to the people.”
In 2014/15, Sadc experienced a drought and subsequently failed to replenish its critical water bodies.

Zimbabwe and Zambia have been affected by Zambezi River’s low level as their main hydro power stations are failing to draw sufficient water for optimum electricity generation.

In August 2015, the Zambezi River Authority reduced both countries’ water allocations for power generation from 45 billion to 40 billion cubic meters to manage the situation. Zambia obtains 80 percent of its power through hydro means, but is getting 20 percent (305MW), while Zimbabwe’s Kariba Hydro Power Station is generating 475MW instead of the optimum 750MW.

Authorities in Zambia have asked mining companies there to reduce their power demand by 30 percent, though this has affected State revenue and seen copper prices drop by 20 percent.

Zimbabwe wants to produce at least 4 000MW by 2018 through major upgrades at existing plants and construction of new stations.


  • comment-avatar
    grabmore 7 years ago

    Nonsense article which gives no time frame of when any of these mega projects will be completed.

  • comment-avatar
    Cloud Cuckoo Land 7 years ago

    “The electricity situation is not as bad as we are made to believe by the media.” Evidently the honourable Minister has instructed Zesa that his house/houses are not to be affected by load shedding. Like all the other honourables and hangers on. Clearly he hasn’t experienced all day power cuts, had precious food go off, been unable to wash clothes or have a have a hot shower.

    Don’t know whether to laugh or cry.

  • comment-avatar
    T C Whesa 7 years ago

    I am astounded by Undenge’s remarks. Perhaps he is exempted from load shedding. When I have had to suffer power outages on Sunday from 07:45 hours to 22:45 and on Monday from 05:45 hours and as I write this power has not been restored. What is Undenge smoking when he says the situation is not as bad as the media is making it out to be. I was at university with him in the late 70’s and he was as daft a a brush. Cabinet material, my foot !!!

  • comment-avatar
    william mills 7 years ago

    In all of the articles concerning electric generating capacity the phrase… “zim has a demand of 2200mw against a bla-bla-bla…” is always touted. presumably this refers to the historical PEAK demand. Whatever the current peak demand is remains unknown as it has been decades since it was met. So please stop parroting this untrue figure. With the deindustrialization of Zimbabwe the real peak demand is relatively very low and going lower as the masses (the commie government will know what this means) simply do not have the wherewithal to pay for electricity. It is now that critical era when the capital accumulated during the time of the Rhodesians is finally coming to an end, having being completely squandered, stolen, destroyed, and misused . It is also known as the “other peoples money” syndrome. Margaret Thatcher spoke of it. It has taken Zimbabwe 35 years to destroy the capital accumulati0n of the previous 100 years. This means that zim is better governed than many other sub-Sahara countries who were able to accomplish this destruction in much less time.

    Rhodesia est perdita, Viva Rhodesia!

  • comment-avatar
    Bright Spark 7 years ago

    Agree totally with T C Whesa – WHAT IS THIS GUY SMOKING? And stupid comments earlier about not using geysers for your jacussi!! God protect us from these useless figureheads

  • comment-avatar
    C Frizell 7 years ago

    That is a good point, I have also wondered for years where this supposede demand for electricity comes from.

    Hardly and farming (irrigation)
    Just about no industry

    So – I am confused! Like most Zimbas

  • comment-avatar

    it is so impressive the way in which zimpapers (herald and sunday mail) are always able to put such a positive spin on abject failure.

    in the herald report on this issue, it stated that we would be exporting 1700 MW by 2018. chokwadii.

    there will always be liars in this world, and many of them are sharp and cunning rogues.

    but people who lie to themselves are usually fools.