SENIOR STAFF REPORTER
ZESA Holdings(Zesa) yesterday said electricity supplies are depressed in the country, citing low power imports and creaky generation units at both Hwange and Kariba power stations, the Daily News reports.
This comes as one of the country’s main suppliers of power, Eskom of South Africa, is experiencing major shortages of its own — limiting its ability to export electricity to Zimbabwe.
In an update to the nation, the power utility said: “Zesa Holdings would like to advise its valued customers countrywide that there is limited power supply in the national electricity grid due to technical faults at Hwange and Kariba South Power Station.
“The depressed power supply situation has also been compounded by the unavailability of normal import levels due to supply constraints in the region.
“Restoration of service to optimum levels is currently underway and customers are advised to use the available power very sparingly, especially during the morning peak periods of 0500hrs to 1000hrs and evening peak periods of 1700hrs to 2100hrs.”
This comes notwithstanding the fact that in January this year the government announced plans to clear its arrears with Mozambique and South Africa — after securing a US$100 million facility from Afreximbank and reviving a 30-year trilateral agreement with the two neighbouring countries as part of short-term solutions to stabilise local power supplies.
The trilateral agreement, that was first signed in 1990, allows Zimbabwe to negotiate for “firm and competitively priced” electricity from Cahora Bassa and Eskom.
It also comes as Zesa announced early this year that it had hired two European companies to restore two units — three and six — at Hwange Thermal Power Station by March.
The two units were expected to add an additional and much-needed 300MW to the national grid.
Last year, Zimbabwe experienced one of its worst power crises — which forced Zesa to effect punishing load shedding schedules which lasted up to 18 hours a day.