A senior official at the country’s power utility, ZESA Holdings said that imports are the only short term solution to the country’s electricity crisis.
Speaking to local journalist at an energy awareness workshop on Monday, Zimbabwe Power Company’s (ZPC) business performance manager, Bernard Chizengeya, said
We need imports, that is our best bet currently. We cannot continue running Kariba because if we do, it will run out of the water by September.
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We need to unlock imports, but we can only unlock the imports by paying what we owe, then we can import more.
Chizengeya revealed that new generation projects the country is working on will only begin to bear fruit at the earliest in 2022 if timelines are observed.
Zimbabwe’s generation capacity has fallen significantly due to low water levels at Kariba Hydro Dam while the frequent breakdown of equipment at Hwange Thermal power station has also been a huge challenge.
The country has been importing power from South Africa and Mozambique over the past few years. However, Zimbabwe has accrued debts of around US$70 million to the two countries.
Zimbabwe is currently only getting 50MW from HCB of Mozambique and could unlock more supplies if the debt is paid.
An agreement was reached with South Africa recently which will see Zimbabwe importing 400MW. However, the agreement is reportedly subject to terms and conditions.