THE Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company (ZETDC) on Saturday announced a Stage 2 load shedding schedule.
Stage 2 load shedding entails that areas will experience longer periods of power cuts than the original timetable that was published over two weeks ago.
The move was necessitated by a technical fault which developed at the country’s biggest power producer, the coal-fired Hwange Thermal Power Station.
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In a statement on microblogging site Twitter, ZEDTC said:
Kindly note that generation at Hwange is depressed due to a technical fault. Load shedding is now on Stage 2. Load shedding may be above [for longer periods than] the publicized schedules. We apologize for any inconveniences caused.
Currently, Zimbabweans are experiencing 8 hours of load shedding. Authorities have claimed that the debilitating power cuts resulted from low power generation at Kariba hydropower plant due to low water levels caused by an unusual drought.
The country’s power utility has also failed to pay for power imports already consumed from neighbouring South Africa and Mozambique.
Zimbabwe owe the two countries over US$80 million for power imports.
Zambia has also been affected by low generation capacity at Kariba Power Station.
Zimbabwe and Zambia, through the Zambezi Water Authority, ZESA and ZESCO are set to negotiate with Mozambique’s power utility to be availed with up to 500 megawatts of electricity for free.
The proposed deal has been necessitated by Mozambique’s need to reduce water inflows from Lake Kariba into Lake Cahorra Bassa, which is close to overflowing due to Cyclone Idai rainfall.