Mines Lament Over Power Cuts

The Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company (ZETDC) imposed the worst rolling blackouts in three years on Monday, with households and industries including mines set to be without electricity for up to 10 hours daily.

Speaking on the recently published black-outs schedules, Isaac Kwesu, chief executive of Chamber of Mines said that critical industries like mining should be spared. He said:

Mining requires electricity for both operations and safety. It will be very costly to have production stoppages, that is why we will be engaging ZETDC to find ways to minimize any costly disruptions due to the electricity cuts.

The Mining sector is one of the sectors contributing much to the country as far as revenue is concerned. Last year, it accounted for more than two-thirds of Zimbabwe’s $4.8 billion in total export earnings. Power cuts are therefore expected to adversely affect production and exports.

Reuters reports that some big companies previously resorted to importing electricity directly from neighbouring countries like Mozambique and South Africa. Zimbabwe is currently producing 969 MW daily against a peak demand of 2,100 MW. The current status of affairs is not encouraging considering that winter which demands more power has already arrived.

Joram Gumbo, Energy and Power Development Minister recently said that he intends to travel to Mozambique this week to negotiate on an electricity supply deal with that country’s power utility Hydro Cabora Bassa.

More: Reuters

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