‘No load shedding for winter wheat farmers’
Tinashe Makichi Business Reporter
Government will ensure consistent supply of electricity for the 2016-2017 winter wheat farming season, Energy and Power Developmemt Minister Dr Samuel Undenge said.
Speaking on the sidelines of the ZANU-PF Nyanga Inter-District meeting last week, Dr Undenge said load shedding for winter wheat farmers was now a thing of the past.
He said this will be supported by the recent power import deals that were signed between Government and its regional counterparts.
“I can assure the nation that the power challenges that once affected winter wheat farming are now a thing of the past,” said Dr Undenge.
He said more power projects are expected to come online and this will further reduce the current power deficit affecting the country.
China through China-Eximbank has since availed funding to Zimbabwe to ease electricity shortages by expanding the Kariba hydro-power station.
The project is expected to take four years to complete and increase Kariba’s capacity by 300 megawatts.
Zimbabwe used to face severe power outages, affecting households and businesses but the situation has since improved.
Dr Undenge said Government will make sure Hwange power station is constantly maintained for consistent supply of electricity.
Government also plans to
connect electricity to all public institutions,clinics and schools by 2018.
He said this is part of Government’s economic blueprint, the Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio-Economic Transformation.
“Government has plans to make sure 2018 all public institutions, schools, clinics should be electrified by 2018. That is Government’s position at the moment.
“The electrification of all public institutions is actually an economic driver and that has to be taken seriously,” said Dr Undenge.
Meanwhile the Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) last week said it surpassed its power generation target in the first quarter of 2016 by 2,35 percent, mainly due to improved generation at Kariba Power Station.
ZPC runs the Hwange Thermal Power Station, the Kariba Hydro-electric Power Station and three small thermal power stations, Munyati in Kwekwe, Harare and Bulawayo.
“In the first quarter of 2016, ZPC sent out a total of 1 751,18 Gigawatt Hours (GWh) of energy against a target of 1 711,04 GWh,” ZPC managing director Noah Gwariro said in an update.
“The production target for the period was surpassed by 2,35 percent due to production at Kariba Power Station which was fairly smooth during the quarter and was maintained at an average above the allocated 285MW to compensate for the general system power shortages that were experienced during the quarter.”
Going forward, Mr Gwariro said ZPC would focus on improving operational and process efficiencies, mitigating against water shortages at Kariba.