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Zim Still Importing Electricity From SA Despite Eskom Challenges

Energy and Power Development Minister Soda Zhemu says the country is importing around 170 megawatts of electricity from South Africa despite the power supply situation in the neighboring country.

Zimbabwe has been experiencing power shortages owing to aging equipment at Hwange thermal power station as well as low water levels at the Kariba hydro power station.

Responding to a question in Parliament by former Energy Minister Fortune Chasi who had asked how much electricity the country is importing from South Africa given that the power situation in that country, Zhemu there is an existing contract despite the challenges.

“We are getting a capacity of around 170 megawatts from SA and the contract still subsists despite the power supply situation that is in SA but we are still able to obtain power supply from SA. As for the mitigation measures that the Government of Zimbabwe has put in place in the event that SA one day gets to a situation where they will not be able to give us power supply. You might be aware that we embarked on the expansion of Hwange Power Station in 2018 with the intention of obtaining additional power supply of around 600 megawatts from Unit 7 and 8.

“Last week alone, in this House, I indicated the readiness of Unit 7 from which we will be getting 300 megawatts before end of this month and another unit will be following after a month to give us a total of 600 megawatts being fed into the grid. We also have plans to rehabilitate the existing units at Hwange Power Station, that is, Units 1 to 6 to get the units back to the installed capacity of 920 megawatts.

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“There is a generation of 387 megawatts which are coming from Hwange Power Station. The intention is to rehabilitate the power station to give us 920 megawatts among other initiatives including the participation of the private sector as independent power producers. Even if we are caught up with what is happening in SA may be in a month or two, we are hoping that the capacity will be replaced with our internally generated power which we will get from the expansion project in Hwange,” said Zhemu

Minister Zhemu said the national integrated energy resource plan that entails that for every expansion in demand there will be other source of generation is in progress.

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