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Zesa imports electricity to ease loadshedding

The government is determined to find a solution to the nation’s electricity problems, and as a temporary measure, 200–500 MW of additional electricity is being imported. Meanwhile, proposals to restructure Zesa to improve operating efficiency are also in the works.

The “Roadmap to Electricity Self-Sufficiency,” as submitted by Cde Edgar Moyo, Minister of Energy and Power Development, was reviewed and approved by Cabinet yesterday.

The development comes after worries over low domestic energy generation following Hwange Unit 7’s removal from the national grid for Class C Maintenance, a legally mandated procedure that necessitates the unit’s removal from the grid following a predetermined amount of operation.

Zesa Holdings, the power utility company, claims that the absence of Unit 7, which has a 300 megawatt capacity, will result in more load shedding.

Read Also: Power blackouts for the next 30 days: ZESA

Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister, Dr Jenfan Muswere, told journalists in a post-Cabinet media briefing in Harare that corrective measures were being taken to ease the situation for consumers and businesses.

“Cabinet wishes to inform the nation that the current local generation capacity is 1 280 megawatts (MW) against the current average local demand of about 1 850MW, leaving a deficit of about 400MW. To cover the deficit, the country is currently importing power in the range of 200-500MW,” said Dr Muswere.

The minister said the Government has plans in place to restructure Zesa to resolve its operational challenges and ensure efficient operations to support the economic growth momentum.

“Regarding measures to resolve the operational challenges, the Government will restructure the power utility company (Zesa); decommission and repurpose the small thermal power stations; contain technical and non-technical losses and implement various power saving initiatives,” said Dr Muswere.

He said in the medium to long term, the Government will embrace private sector-led coal mining initiatives and new technologies such as green hydrogen, floating solar panels, battery energy storage systems, and funding some of the renewable energy projects dotted around the country to increase domestic generation of electricity.

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