Zimbabwe: Power woes to ease from July – ZESA

Zimbabwe: Power woes to ease from July – ZESA

Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority – ZESA, the country’s state power utility, says the current electricity challenges will be alleviated significantly by the end of 2024, thanks to improved generation at the Kariba South and Hwange power stations.

The country’s two major power plants are the coal-fired Hwange Power Station and the hydropower plant Kariba South Power Station.

Hwange, which is currently experiencing frequent breakdowns due to ageing equipment, is being upgraded as part of a US$1.5 billion expansion project to add equal units 7 and 8, with the first expected to come online soon to add 300MW to the national grid.

Unit 8 is expected to come online by June of this year, generating an additional 300MW, while the Kariba Hydropower Plant, which is currently operating at sub-optimal levels due to low water levels, is expected to improve its generation as dam levels rise to optimal levels by mid-year.

Gift Ndhlovu, commercial director of Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company (ZETDC), representing the company’s acting managing director Engineer Howard Choga at the Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI) 2023 Annual Economic and Business Outlook Symposium in Harare on Wednesday, said climate change issues have had a negative impact on Kariba, which is more reliable in terms of supply.

However, he stated that water levels were now on the rise, from around 0.66 percent in early January this year to 8.3 percent to date in terms of live water.

“We just got a review of the water allocation and we are now doing 350MW up from an average of 250MW and we anticipate that the reservoir will peak around May and June this year.

“We’ll be able to review our generation capacity from the current 350MW to about 775MW, which will give us some comfort (through an additional) 425MW.

“In terms of interventions, in the short to medium term, holding all other things constant, we feel that there would be a balance in the second half of 2023.

“We will be very comfortable in terms of the power supply situation as we get into the second half of this year,” said Mr Ndhlovu.

“Hwange Units 7 and 8 are progressing in earnest, though we are faring a bit behind in terms of our original plan we feel that the first unit (Unit 7) should be in by the end of March which will give us about 300MW.

“Unit 8 is also progressing and it should be in by June 2023 giving us an additional 300MW.

“The second half of 2023 is looking quite good and we also feel that 2024 is also in the safe zone in terms of our focus.”

He stated that because ZETDC has received applications totaling 2 300MW from domestic and industrial consumers requiring electricity in the next three years, the country will face power supply challenges again in 2025.

The surge in electricity demand comes as Zimbabwe continues to attract more high-value investors eager to establish businesses that will transform the economy in line with Vision 2030, which envisions an empowered upper-middle-income society.

Source: Energy Ghana




Connect with on Facebook