Zimbabwe is exploring new power supply deals with Zambia as one of its traditional suppliers Eskom of South Africa is experiencing major power generation challenges.
Zimbabwe has an existing supply agreement of 100 MW with Eskom, but with the current generation challenges at Eskom, the supplies have been intermittent.
Zimbabwean Energy Minister Soda Zhemu has revealed that the current situation at Eskom has forced them to negotiate with Zambia for the importation of the additional required energy.
Frequent breakdowns at the country’s biggest power plant, Hwange Power Station have also resulted in daily power cuts forcing the country to import power from neighboring Mozambique and South Africa.
Zimbabwe is looking to achieve electricity self-sufficiency by next year when unit 7 of the Hwange thermal power plant, which is under construction, is expected to come on stream.
“We are expecting the first unit which is Unit 7 to be up and running in November this year and that will add 300 megawatts to the grid. With regards to winter, one of the immediate solutions to our deficit will be the import of electricity. In the interim that is what we are resorting to because our first unit which will give us 300 megawatts will be achieved in November, way after the commencement of winter. Traditionally we get our imports from Mozambique and South Africa but we are also in discussions through our power utility ZESA, to have some additional capacity from Zambia. Discussions are now at an advanced stage. We hope that will come through before commencement of winter wheat production,” says Zhemu.
South Africa is currently implementing stage 3 rolling blackouts: