Tuesday, 29 June 2021

PROLONGED POWER OUTAGES LOOM IN ZIM

Zimbabwe faces prolonged power outages after a surge in electricity imports from SA overloaded its network and caused generating plants to fail, energy minister Soda Zhemu said.

The surge caused a nationwide blackout in the early hours of Monday, as it affected output at the Kariba hydropower plant and the coal-fired Hwange facility, Zhemu said by phone on Monday from the capital, Harare.

Generation has since been restored at Kariba and it’s the only one of the nation’s five plants that is working, while engineers are trying to restore output at the Hwange units, he said.

“Demand is outweighing internal power-generation capacity,” Zhemu said.

Kariba produces 1,014MW of electricity, compared with national consumption of about 2,000MW, according to the Zimbabwe Power Co.’s website. Zimbabwe doesn’t produce enough of its own power and relies on imports from neighbouring SA and Mozambique to meet demand.

In parts of the city centre in Harare on Monday, businesses were using diesel generators to run their operations.

Eskom didn’t immediately respond to an e-mailed request for comment. Bloomberg


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