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Zimbabwe industries hire government over crippling power shortage



Hwange Thermal Power Station

Zimbabwe‘s industries have approached the government with a view to finding solutions to the prevailing energy shortage that threatens to paralyze their operations and stifle the country’s economic growth.

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The country is experiencing serious power cuts that have left industry and commerce as well as domestic consumers in the dark for long hours, with guaranteed supply only for strategic establishments.

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Apart from frequent breakdowns at the Hwange Thermal Power Station, the Kariba South Power Station, which has been producing most of the electricity, has been ordered to stop operating by the Zambezi River Authority (ZRA) because The water level in Lake Kariba has dropped dangerously low. bass.

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ZRA is a binational agency jointly owned by the Zimbabwean and Zambian governments and manages the waters of the Zambezi River, which divides the two countries with Zimbabwe to the south.

The chairman of the Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI), Kurai Matsheza, told the country’s official news agency, New Ziana, that local industry had been caught “flat-footed” after the closure of the Zimbabwe power station. Kariba South, but was optimistic that a solution would be found. “It’s a situation where we are involving the authorities, just to find a common way out of this situation, but unfortunately there are no quick answers so we just have to keep negotiating.”

“We also encourage the government to expedite any arrangements we may have with the Zambian authorities, for example, that they be allowed to use their share of the water in the Zambezi to continue running on our side, or alternatively they can sell us the electricity.” would have generated,” Matsheza said.

The order to shut down the power station was also made after the Zimbabwe Power Company used up its water allocation for power generation, while significant water inflows into Lake Kariba are not expected until next year.

However, Zambia’s ZESCO Limited, which is still operating within its allocation, has been allowed to continue generating power at its north bank power station.

Matsheza said that while the government was looking for other means to ensure the country had enough power, local industry was also being encouraged to secure alternative power. He said that this could be achieved, for example, by investing in solar energy.

The cabinet deliberated on the challenges of power on Tuesday and promised the nation that solutions to the problem would be announced soon. Available options include importing more power from neighboring countries such as Zambia and Mozambique.

Zimbabwe will add more power to the national grid around the end of the year when the first of two units installed by Chinese company Sinohydro starts producing 300 MW, while the second will come online in early 2023.

But with Kariba inactive until at least January 2023, when the position will be revised depending on water inflows to the lake, all sectors of the economy will have to deal with power shortages. ■


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