HARARE, October 9 (The Source)— Zimbabwe’s power utility ZESA says it is negotiating with power utilities from the region and independent power producers (IPPs) to access emergency power but those supplies will only come on line next year.
ZESA said there was no quick fix to the power crisis which has seen Zimbabwe’s households and industry endure load shedding of up to 18 hours a day.
“Our new build projects come on stream in 2018 such that in the short term the only recourse we have is energy efficiency and procurement of emergency power, albeit at a very high cost,” said ZESA in a statement on Friday.
“We will continue to engage SAPP (Southern African Power Pool) utilities and other IPPs for any power imports that may become available. Discussions are taking place with some suppliers of emergency power to come into effect in January 2016. This power normally comes at a higher price but we will continue to negotiate for the best deal.”
Electricity generation at the country’s anchor power station Kariba Hydro was cut by a third to 475 megawatts (MW) due to low water levels while coal-powered Hwange is producing about 578 megawatts from an installed capacity of 920 MW, with five out of six units in operation.
Although Zimbabwe liberalised its energy sector in 2002, the country has struggled to attract investment into the sector and IPPs account for only 0.3 percent of total power generation.