Zim faces power cuts as hydro units face repair

Zimbabwe faces an increase in power cuts after a third of the power supply at its 750MW Kariba hydro plant shuts for maintenance, state utility Zesa said on Tuesday.

The country is already struggling with power shortages because of low generation and dwindling imports, with miners and industrialists saying this is threatening the recovery of an economy emerging from a decade of collapse.

Zesa said on Tuesday two of its six generation units at the Kariba hydro plant, the country’s largest power station, would undergo mandatory annual maintenance from Friday this week to May 21.

“The exercise will witness an increase in load-shedding,” Zesa said in a statement.

“In the meantime, Zesa will alleviate the situation through increased generation at Hwange power station and a possible increase in power imports.”

Zimbabwe has a peak electricity demand of 2 000MW but at best produces 1 000MW because of ageing equipment and faults on the national grid.

A Cabinet minister said in February the government was considering whether or not to decommission six generation units at the 750MW Hwange plant due to recurrent breakdowns of its equipment. — Reuters

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