President Emmerson Mnangagwa has said the government will take extraordinary measures in 2023 to address the current energy crisis.
Writing in his weekly opinion article published in The Sunday Mail, Mnangagwa said there should be a significant increase in power supply early in the coming year. He wrote:
Extraordinary measures are needed and will be taken in the coming year. With the US$310 million, we now have to refurbish and replace old Generators 1 to 6 at Hwange, coupled with the coming on stream of Generators 7 and 8, early next year, we should see an appreciable improvement in power supply early in the coming year.
We must now plan for our power generation and supply as if Kariba is discounted from our energy supply matrix, so we have at least 2 000 megawatts from non-hydro power sources.
That way, we weather-proof our energy sector and with it, our whole Economy. I have already instructed Government to remove all and any entry barriers to new investments in the energy sector.
Mnangagwa said the current power shortages were caused by the success recorded in growing the economy and attracting new investments. He said:
The rapid growth and expansion in both mining and industry, coupled with new investment projects across sectors, has increased demand for power, and created a clear mismatch between power generation and supply on the one hand, and power demand and distribution on the other.
Mnangagwa was, however, quick to point out that power generation at the country’s major power plants, Kariba South Power Station and Hwange Thermal Power Station, has plummeted resulting in the current power crisis. He wrote:
As I write, Kariba’s power generation capacity has drastically fallen from its installed capacity of 1 100 megawatts to a mere 100 megawatts.
Our capacity for thermal power has also fallen due to the aged six generators we developed soon after Independence.
Zimbabwe is facing one of its worst power crises and on 9 December 2022, the Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) was generating a total of 438MW from its five power stations.
Hwange was generating 218MW, Kariba 200, Bulawayo 20, Harare 0MW and Munyati 0MW. | The Sunday Mail