Zim faces power deficit | The Herald

via Zim faces power deficit | The Herald by Golden Sibanda September 30, 2013

ZIMBABWE experienced a 17,69 percent deficit on its total domestic and commercial electricity requirements during the eight months to August 2013, official industry data has shown.The magnitude implies that industry and households have had to contend with the cost and inconvenience arising from rolling power cuts that the national power utility Zesa Holdings is using to balance available power supplies.

In an effort to balance demand and power supply Zesa Holdings has resorted to alternated load shedding throughout the country during peak demand period usually in the morning and in the evening.

Zimbabwe Power Company assistant corporate executive Mr Douglas Chingoka told the Zimbabwe Mining and Infrastructure Indaba last week that reliable generation capacity stands at a mere 1 320 megawatts. ZPC is a subsidiary of Zesa Holdings.

While the annual mining indaba initially focused on mining issues it is now incorporating infrastructure issues, which include power because Zimbabwe and the continent face huge challenges in this respect.

Local generation capacity falls far short of the demand of 2 200MW, which also stands way above installed capacity of just above 1 900MW as new power generation projects take time to complete.

Zimbabwe imported 13,22 percent of the total electricity consumed in the country between January and August this year while 37,2 percent was generated in Kariba, 28,6 percent at Hwange Thermal Power Station, 1,44 percent at Munyati, 1,24 percent in Bulawayo and 0,46 percent in Harare.

“Zimbabwe is plagued by a shortage of power. Reliable capacity is of the order of 1 320 megawatts against a demand of about 2 200 megawatts. There is need for investments to be made in order to increase the amount of reliable capacity,” Mr Chingoka told the indaba.

The grim scenario points to the urgent need to start working on implementation of all power projects on the cards without delay as current shortages are constraining economic recovery.

Companies in the mining and other sectors of the economy have had to either invest in expensive diesel power generators or pay in advanced for ring-fenced import direct power supplies.  While this has been heavy on the pocket, those with weak balance sheets to make such high cost alternative arrangements have had to contend with the inconveniences of load shedding.

For its part ZPC is working on the extensions of Hwange Thermal Power Station Units 6 and 7 for an additional 600MW and Kariba South hydropower station for another 300MW.

Sino Hydro will expand Kariba South at an estimated cost of US$400 million and the project is now at design review stage being done parallel to financial closure for the project.

China Machinery and Energy Corporation won the tender to expand the Hwange Units 6 and 7 and the parties to the deal are currently engaged in technical and funding negotiations.

The two projects remain the biggest most likely to get underway by early next year and it is anticipated that expansion of Kariba will take 40 months while Hwange will take 42 months.

There are several other projects being pursued by independent power producers across the country, but most of the projects have taken far too long to complete amid acute funding constraints.

While Zimbabwe faces suffocating power deficits, it has vast energy sources at its disposal to raise the generation capacity, which only needs to be tapped, but capital is the biggest problem.

The increase in capacity has to be done at an affordable price and these include coal (thermal power stations), coal bed methane (thermal power stations), hydro-power and solar energy.



  • comment-avatar

    It’s called preparation, maintenance, diligence, going after people who do not pay like the rich ministers and it means honesty and thrifty. Oh I forgot we are talking about Zanoids here who have all the qualities to run sorry ruin a country. What a joke.

  • comment-avatar
    Zeezee 11 years ago

    That’s what happens when you don’t pay your bills! It is only going to get worse.

  • comment-avatar
    Macon Pane 11 years ago

    ZeeZee got it right… it’s just basic economics. Ya gotta pay to play.

    So, can someone explain the economics of how there was so much less load-shedding just prior to the polls? Amazing how that happened. Surely, it wasn’t political gerrymandering, and had nothing to do with underhanded vote influencing… Surely.

    As they say, ya can’t change the smell of a skunk. ZANUPF’s new tactics can’t change history. Zimbabweans are too smart to forget ZANUPF is the party of mismanagement, violence, and corruption.

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    Kalusha 11 years ago

    I think it’s mangoma switching off power

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    John Steele 11 years ago

    Zimbabwe is forever doomed! until these Zanoids wither and stop ruining the country.

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    I actually do not believe this country has the simple brain capcity to solve the problems in regard to basic needs like zessa, zinwa,roads, cities and rural councils etc etc. Any money made gets swiped by the zanoid cheffs and they do not give a hoot about any one else starting with the one who calls himself president.

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    gorongoza 11 years ago

    You import electricity at high prices, give to people, expect to be paid….and the govt cuts all debts, and even make zesa owe those who were up to date so they can receive power for free! surely, you expect that to work?
    zvakafanana nep[rice slashing dzaiitwa 2007 and we ended up wiyth no goods in the shops! zanu never learn!
    we all know who were the biggest beneficiaries of the debt cancellation. we had a glimpse of their accounts the other time.

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    Macon Pane 11 years ago

    GBZ and GORONGOZA, I politely disagree… Zimbabweans are as intelligent as any in the world… maybe not as educated as some due to failed system under ZANUPF rule due to theft of funds, but fully intelligent. What the folks in the bush is not is informed because they do not have widespread access to information… and that was insured by ZANUPF. Remember the confiscation of all the news radios prior to the polls. Brainwashing is simple… just isolate the people, cut off sources of unbiased reporting, and repeat the party-line lies over and over. It’s North Korea all over again.

    Now, ZANUPF has changed their tune, and quite suddenly are reporting how they’re so interested in human rights and addressing corruption. It’s pure hogwash, and nothing more than laying a smokescreen to prepare for the next elections. They can not bear the load of the truth of history, so they’re trying to bury it along with Bob. Zimbabweans aren’t lacking intelligence… but many are lacking the truth. Fix that, and ZANUPF will die with Bob.

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    Macon Pane 11 years ago

    Sorry, GORONGOZA, I misread your comment.

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    jongwe power 11 years ago

    But..but…we were promised a $400 million solar project in Marondera, a sugar-waste-to-energy generator in Triangle, and a new coal power plant in Gokwe. We were assured that if we all voted correctly (or else), power outages would be a thing of the past.

    • comment-avatar
      adam jones 11 years ago

      Well said. Promised. Vapedza kuriga lets see if load sheading will stop. I recon it will actually get worse.

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    adam jones 11 years ago

    You herald people are particularly stupid. How can this be called a deficit when the country has had no power for over a decade? A deficit is a diviation from 100% supply position – not from a position where load sheading is the norm. Is this the so called ‘positive reporting’? Delusional.