Zimbabwe has no immediate funding to ease the current electricity crisis, Energy and Power Development Minister Zhemu Soda revealed on Friday.
Addressing journalists in Harare yesterday, Soda admitted that the country is facing a power crisis. He said:
The government is making an intervention. This is a crisis situation and we hope through that intervention, funding will be available to apply for the additional capacity that we are looking forward to getting from our neighbours.
Zimbabwe’s hopes of importing additional electricity from Zambia were dampened with the neighbouring country set to commence a six-hour daily load-shedding regime from 15 December.
On Friday, Zambia’s Energy minister Peter Kapala issued a ministerial statement in Parliament saying the country’s power utility, ZESCO, will implement a load management regime aimed at rationing power generation at the Kariba Complex to avoid a complete shutdown.
Meanwhile, Soda said Zimbabwe is importing a combined 250 megawatts (MW) from South Africa, Zambia, and Mozambique.
He said additional negotiations are ongoing, with 150MW expected from Mozambique.
The Zambezi River Authority (ZRA), which manages the Zambezi River on behalf of Zimbabwe and Zambia cut ZESA’s power generation capacity to 300MW down from 600MW, while ZESCO will reduce generation to a maximum of 800 megawatts until further review.
Zhemu urged consumers to reduce their load by employing energy conservation and efficiency measures. He said:
The ministry urges all consumers to reduce load by employing energy conservation and efficiency measures. Lights must be switched off in all offices at night and other measures like rightsizing of equipment, use of energy savers.
Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries president Kurai Matsheza said a failure to address the power crisis will be a huge blow to manufacturers during the busiest season of the year. | NewsDay