THE country has recorded a significant improvement in the generation of electricity this year although it remains inadequate to meet national demand, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Energy and Power Development Mr Patson Mbiriri has said.Speaking in Bulawayo, Mr Mbiriri said the country’s energy challenges had improved.
“I am sure everyone agrees with me that we have had the best winter in terms of power outages being experienced in many years,” Mr Mbiriri said.
He said Hwange Power Station was running at full capacity and this had led to reduction in load shedding country- wide.
“As I speak Hwange Power Station is firing from all six cylinders. In other words all the six units are generating power, which hasn’t happened in many, many years,” he said.
Mr Mbiriri said in addition, all the three small thermal power stations in Bulawayo, Harare and Munyati were also performing well, in particular Munyati.
He said his Ministry was expecting a financial closure on the Kariba expansion by next month.
“We went to tender and the tender was awarded to CMEC; we are now going through the contract negotiations that are necessary and we expect that later in the year we will have financial closure on that,” said Mr Mbiriri.
The official said once the expansion is completed, Kariba Power Station would produce an additional 100 megawatts of electricity.
Mr Mbiriri said Zimbabwe still had a power deficit of between 400 and 600 megawatts.
“Because we have addressed the huge arrears which amounted to $100 million, we have been able to import anything up to 400 to 500 megawatts,” he said.
The domestic power generation currently stands at around 1 200MW and installed capacity being pegged around 1 960MW.
The energy sector is failing to meet demand due to obsolete machinery and limited investment in the energy sector.
Mr Mbiriri said other efforts were under way to set up a small hydro station next year and a diesel power peak period station to be stationed in Mutare.
He said the diesel station would produce about 80 megawatts during peak periods.
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