ZIMBABWE will experience increased loadâ€“shedding in the short-term due to reduced imports of electricity from Democratic Republic of Congoâ€™s Snel and maintenance work at Kariba power station.
In an interview with businessdigest this week, Zesa chief executive officer Ben Rafemoyo said they had engaged Zambia and Mozambique to increase electricity supplies to mitigate the effects of reduced imports from the DRC.
â€œWe have been losing about 100 megawatts daily for the past week because we have not been receiving electricity from Snel due to network challenges. We were hoping the situation will improve early next week,â€ said Rafemoyo.
Snel has been doing business with Zimbabwe for the past 10 years.
â€œWe had a fruitful meeting with the Congolese to renew our contract with them. At present we are receiving 150 megawatts from HCB in Mozambique which has been constant. We are also receiving power from Zambia of between 50 -200 megawatts as and when it is available,â€ Rafemoyo said.
Zimbabwe needs about 2 389 megawatts daily but has been generating plus or minus 1 700 megawatts leaving â€œrequired importsâ€ of 689 megawatts or 28,8%.
Last year internal generation averaged 1 000 megawatts.
Rafemoyo said demand for electricity was increasing at an average of 3% annually in the medium to long-term.
â€œEstimated annual demand growth is around two percent (short-term) and 3 to 3,5%â€ he said.
Rafemoyo said the maintenance at Kariba which started last Friday was expected to last until May 30.
During the process electricity generation will decline by about 125 megawatts. â€œWe will have to bring demand to the level of supply,â€ he said.
Rafemoyo said the repairs were necessitated by critical, planned, statutory annual maintenance, which has to be undertaken on the generator and generator transformers, which was now due.
Rafemoyo said the power utility had put in place measures to mitigate the impact of the power outages through power imports.
â€œArrangements have, however, been put in place to alleviate the situation through increased power imports and a possible increase in power generation at Hwange, which will be subject to the availability of plant and coal supplies,â€ he said.
BY PAUL NYAKAZEYA