News and updates from the continent

Zimbabwe set for dark holiday season?

Zimbabwe set for dark holiday season?

Nov 18, 2014

The Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) has warned Zimbabweans to brace for more power blackouts over the festive season, due to the imminent closure of the Kariba South Power Station where Unit Six will undergo refurbishments in December.

According to reports, acting general manager for Kariba Power Station Charles Bhebhe told reporters that Zimbabwe would be 125 megawatts short for six weeks starting in December.

“To date, the refurbishment of other five units has been completed with the last one having been finished in October,” he said, adding that the expansion of Kariba South was going according to schedule as evidenced by the ongoing drilling of six access tunnels.

The proposed extension is expected to provide an additional 300 megawatts to the national grid. All six units together currently produce 750 megawatts. Zimbabwe requires some 2 200 megawatts of electricity at peak consumption but generates just under 1 300 megawatts, relying on imports for the difference.

Zimbabwe has recently only been able to afford country could only afford around 50 megawatts from neighbouring countries after major electricity suppliers in the region cut off supply for non-payment. ZPC is owed more than $900 million by debtors and has been introducing pre-paid meters over the past three years in an effort to ensure consumer payments.

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