ZESA Holdings has begun discussions with South Africa’s Eskom, to resume power imports which were discontinued after it failed to pay a huge import bill.
In an interview with Business Weekly, ZESA acting chief executive Patrick Chivaura said:
(We) have negotiated with Eskom and we are completing commercial formalities to access power imports. We are getting 50MW from HCB (Hydro Cahora Bassa).
Zimbabwe requires between 1 800MW and 2 200MW at peak period yet power generation has fallen to around 800MW.
The fall in power generation has been blamed on low water levels in Lake Kariba. Kariba power station generates over 1 000MW when operating at full throttle. However, due to drought, production is currently below 400MW.
As a result, Zimbabwe is facing rolling power cuts that often run for 18 hours, crippling production on farms and manufacturing industries.
Chivaura said several solar projects, which have been licensed, were under development and when completed should reduce the gap between power generation and consumption, but this will be in the short to medium term.