THE Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (Zesa) has blamed recent blackouts in some parts of Harare on Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) power supplier Snel and problems at Wankie Colliery
Obert Nyatanga, Zesa general manager for corporate affairs, said power cuts on Tuesday and Wednesday were caused largely by the supplier’s failure to provide electricity.
“We were supposed to get power from Snel of DRC but we did not get anything on Tuesday which led to some parts in Harare North being affected,” he said.
“Zesa experienced a power shortfall during the evening peak on Tuesday and Wednesday 6/7 July 2004 due to a generator forced outage at Hwange Power Station.”
Other blackouts on Monday and Tuesday were caused by faults at substations in the capital.
A number of places in Harare such as Avondale, Kuwadzana, Mabelreign, Ashdown Park, Hatfield and parts of Mount Pleasant were affected.
The power cuts also left some parts of the central business district without electricity on Monday.
The situation has been worsened by Zesa’s failure to operate at full capacity due to a breakdown of one of its generators at Hwange.
Zesa’s operational constraints were further worsened by the cold weather, which has led to increased demand for power.
“The current peak demand is 2 100MW (while) generation capacity is 1 200MW,” Nyatanga said.
“The balance is being imported from the region. We however expect local generation to increase to 1 300MW once units at Hwange Power Station start to operate at full capacity by the end of this week following routine maintenance.”
Zimbabwe imports 35% of its power from the region, whilst the rest is generated from Hwange Power Station and Kariba.
Zesa has been classified as an interruptible customer by regional suppliers due to its failure to service debts.
By May Zesa owed US$56 million to suppliers.