Energy and Power Development minister Zhemu Soda Sunday said the decline in the quantity of power generated at Kariba is as a result of natural causes, NewsDay reported.
His remarks come after the Zimbabwe Power Company, a subsidiary of the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA), was directed by the Zambezi River Authority (ZRA) to scale down operations at Kariba South Hydropower Station to allow water to refill at Kariba Dam.
ZPC stated on 5 December 2022 (today) that only 200MW were being generated at the plant.
The situation means Zimbabwe will likely have prolonged power cuts. Commenting on the situation while addressing journalists in Harare, Soda 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 which we are looking forward to getting from our neighbours.
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.
Over and above the above measures, government is pursuing a medium to long-term plan to meet the power needs of the country. The government is supporting the acceleration of implementation of renewable energy projects by independent power producers.
Government has identified some solar sites where it will fast-track implementation and pre-feasibility studies have already been done. It must be noted that the situation at Kariba is mainly due to natural causes and the ministry is doing all in its power to avert the situation.
The Zimbabwean government has turned to neighbouring countries seeking to increase imports from the region and replace 300MW lost through restrictions at Kariba.
Currently, Zimbabwe is importing a combined 250 megawatts (MW) from South Africa, Zambia and Mozambique.
Additional negotiations are ongoing, with 150MW expected from Mozambique, Soda said.
Zhemu made the remarks after hopes to import more power from Zambia were dampened with the neighbouring country introducing a six-hour daily load-shedding regime starting on December 15.
Zimbabwe had hoped to plug the supply gap with additional power imports from Zambia.
However, the latest developments mean continued power imports from Zambia is no longer guaranteed.