Zimbabwe’s power utility, ZESA Holdings, is engaging Zambia for new power supply deals as one of its traditional suppliers, Eskom of South Africa, is struggling to meet domestic demand.
Despite having an existing power supply agreement of 100 MW with Eskom, Zimbabwe has been getting intermittent power supplies from Eskom as South Africa’s power utility is experiencing power generation challenges.
Energy and Power Development Minister Soda Zhemu has revealed that Zimbabwe has approached Zambia for additional power as winter approaches. Said Zhemu:
We are expecting the first unit which is Unit 7 to be up and running in November this year and that will add 300 megawatts to the grid.
With regards to winter, one of the immediate solutions to our deficit will be the import of electricity.
In the interim that is what we are resorting to because our first unit which will give us 300 megawatts will be achieved in November, way after the commencement of winter.
Traditionally we get our imports from Mozambique and South Africa but we are also in discussions through our power utility ZESA, to have some additional capacity from Zambia.
Discussions are now at an advanced stage. We hope that will come through before the commencement of winter wheat production.
Zimbabwe’s major power plants are Kariba hydro and Hwange thermal power stations but the latter is unreliable as it experiences frequent breakdowns due to ageing equipment.