Nqobile Tshili Bulawayo Bureau
ZESA is implementing prolonged load-shedding of up to 18 hours a day following a fault at Hwange Power Station yesterday afternoon.
The power utility said it was moving to Stage 2 load-shedding.
According to Zesa, Stage 1 load-shedding happens to the first group of customers as listed on its schedule and these are switched off as the power shortfall will be within planned limits.
In the event that the power shortfall increases beyond the planned limits, load shedding will move to Stage 2.
Zesa said while it was importing electricity to augment national supplies, power would remain constrained.
“While all efforts are being made to improve the power supply availability through imports, the supply situation remains fragile,” said Zesa.
“Customers are advised to use the available power very sparingly and will be updated as the situation improves. The inconvenience caused is sincerely regretted.”
The first two stages at Hwange Power Station suffer frequent breakdowns because of skipped and skimped maintenance and refurbishment over the past 35 years.
Hwange and modest imports from South Africa and Mozambique have to carry the Zimbabwean load because the regional drought has severely limited output from Kariba South, the largest station.
Two brand new large boiler-turbine-generator units are being commissioned at Hwange, but the extra 600MW will not start coming on stream until mid-2021.