INTERNATIONAL –The Zimbabwean government said Tuesday the country has started getting an additional 300 megawatts of electricity from the Southern African Power Pool, resulting in easing of load shedding in most areas of the country.
Information minister Monica Mutsvangwa told a post-cabinet press briefing that the Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company had mobilized a $2 million facility to pay for the additional power, which is received mainly during off-peak hours.
"This additional power has reduced the duration of load shedding in most areas," the minister said.
Zimbabwe is facing acute power shortages that have resulted in power cuts of up to 18 hours a day. The country owes regional power utilities, Eskom of South Africa and HCB of Mozambique a combined $60 million in power imports, which has curtailed further imports from the regional firms.
Zimbabwe is currently negotiating for more power imports from Eskom, after recently paying the regional power utility 10 million dollars as partial payment for its debt to the firm which has now reduced to 23 million dollars.
Zimbabwe is currently generating around 900 MW of electricity against a demand of around 1,600 MW. Power generation has particularly been affected this year due to reduced dam water levels in Kariba, which supplies water to the Kariba South Hydro Power Station, currently the country's biggest power plant with an installed capacity of 1050 MW.