Power cuts blamed on rains, technical faults

Rutendo Rori
Mash East correspondent
Power cuts being experienced in some parts of the country are temporary and are due to technical faults at Hwange Power Station as well as the rains, Energy and Power Development Deputy Minister Magna Mudyiwa has said.

In an interview with The Herald after officiating at the launch of biogas digesters in Mudzi last week, Deputy Minister Mudyiwa said the issue was being attended to.

“At Hwange Power Station, we are having challenges with our aged equipment and our units are constantly breaking down,” she said.

“The other reason for the power cuts is the onset of the rainy season.

“The storms affect our electricity transmission and distribution lines. Those are the problems that might be causing breakdowns.

“We have technicians and engineers who are currently working on the faults to ensure that electricity supply is restored as soon as possible.”

Deputy Minister Mudyiwa said according to a report from Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission Distribution Company (ZETDC) the deficit is very minimal.

“We are not going back to 2019, from now on we are moving forward. As far as the electricity situation is concerned, there has been a great improvement this year,” she said.

“Since the beginning of lockdown we never had load shedding until we had a breakdown at Hwange Power Station where we are operating at most with three units.

“The other three units are down, two of those units broke down last year and they are being worked on right now. One of the two units is expected to come back on line by the end of year and the other one by end of January next year.”

She said the two units will provide about 270 Megawatts.

“The issue of power cuts is erratic because we have stepped up the generation of electricity at Kariba because of improved water levels from the last rainy season,” said Deputy Minister Mudyiwa.

Meanwhile, Zimbabwe and Zambia have through the Zambezi River authority launched a five-year strategy to boost water infrastructure development, increase power generations and boost the socio-economic development for both countries among other things.

According to the 2020 to 2024 strategy, demand for electricity in Zambia and Zimbabwe is projected to grow to 6 713 megawatts and 6 344 megawatts respectively by 2045.

Construction of the Batoka Gorge Hydro Electric Scheme with an installed capacity of 2 400 megawatts, will be a game changer in boosting socio-economic development and public value.

This will in turn provide affordable energy and reduce the power deficit in Zimbabwe and Zambia.

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