Zimbabwe plans to import 360 megawatts from neighbouring Mozambique and Zambia to ease a crippling electricity shortage, a senior official at the country’s state-owned power utility said on Monday.Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA) executive chairman Sydney Gata said the power utility had negotiated with the Zambia Electricity Supply Corporation (ZESCO) for the supply of 280 megawatts and with Mozambique’s Electricidade de Moçambique for another 180MW to bridge the gap between demand and supply in the country.
“We are going to get 400MW from Zambia, Mozambique and repairs currently underway at Kariba South, which should be completed in December,” Gata told the state-run Herald daily.
The anticipated imports come as Zimbabwe is battling a crippling electricity crisis that has forced ZESA to institute a rigorous load-shedding programme that has seen some areas going for up to 12 hours with power.
Demand for power in Zimbabwe reaches about 2,200MW during the winter peak, but the country can, at best, only produce roughly 1,400MW due to limited installed capacity and unreliable facilities.
According to Gata, the power utility is currently spending up to US$20 million a month on power imports to bridge the gap between demand and supply.