Stung by power shortages, Zimbabwe is seeking power from its neighbours Mozambique and Zambia to avert the crisis.
Zimbabwe’s Energy Minister Soda Zhemu told the national assembly that it was in talks with Mozambique’s Electricidade de Moçambique (EDM) and Zambia Electricity Supply Corporation for 180 Mw and 100 MW of power imports respectively.
“We are currently in negotiations with Mozambique for an additional 180MW and also a further 100MW from Zambia,” Zhemu said.
Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority has announced 12 hour rolling blackouts that crippling factories, domestic consumption and compounding the country’s worst economic crisis in a decade.
Zimbabwe’s power utility said it was experiencing a power shortfall due to generation constraints at Hwange Power Station, limited imports and a programme of dam wall rehabilitation at Kariba, which requires that two generators be taken out for 12 hours.
The planned outrage of the two units then restricts Kariba Power Station output during these hours.
The power cuts are set to compound the country’s industry beset by a plethora of challenges that include forex shortages and suffocating business environment.
The prolonged power cuts are envisaged to derail industry’s capacity utilisation projected to reach 60% this year.
As of September 16 2021 Zimbabwe was producing 1276MW against a peak demand of about 2000 MW.
This is not the first time Zimbabwe has had a power crisis in 2018, the country was importing electricity from Mozambique and South Africa depending on availability. The country accrued a debt which was later cleared.
Mozambique is a net exporter of energy especially to countries through the Southern African Power Pool – South Africa being the largest importer.
Mozambique has four principal power stations which are Hidroeléctrica de Cahora Bassa (HCB) generating 2075 MW per day, Chicamba Hydroelectric Power Station 44 MW, Massingir Hydroelectric Power Station 25 MW and Mavuzi Hydroelectric Power Station 41 MW.
According to HCB in the last five years it has recorded an average production of around 15,000 GW/h per year.
It said interventions in equipment and modernization plans have made it possible to reach these numbers. However, these numbers will decrease because the rehabilitation and modernization process requires, at times, the scheduled shutdowns of equipment, namely of generators, transformers and others.
“As for power distribution, based on our production, I can assure you that we continue our power distribution on a regular basis to our customers, EDM, Eskom and ZESA,” HCB wrote on its website.