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ZESA aims to add 2 300 MW to the grid by 2025

ZESA Holdings chief executive Howard Choga has said the power utility aims to more than double national grid capacity by 2025 to meet increasing demand mainly driven by the mining industry.

Addressing a mining conference on Thursday in Victoria Falls, Choga said that ZESA expects to add 2 300 MW to the grid by 2025. Reuters quoted Choga as saying:

We expect that by 2025, we would have added 2 300 MW to the grid. I must say over 80% of the 2 300 MW is demand from miners.

Zimbabwe currently has a generating capacity of 2 000 megawatts (MW) but is producing less than 1 500 MW due to regular breakdowns at its thermal power stations and low water levels at Kariba Dam for the Kariba Hydropower plant.

As of Thursday, 01 June 2023, the Zimbabwe Power Company, a subsidiary of ZESA Holdings, was generating a total of 1 423 MW.

Choga also revealed that Zambia and Mozambique cut off electricity supplies to Zimbabwe over failure to pay for imports. He said:

We have had a discontinuation of supply from Zambia and Mozambique because we failed to pay. After accumulated bills imports were then discontinued on March 13.

In December 2021, the Government unveiled incentives meant to help bring 1 100 MW of new solar projects on stream by 2025 but little progress has been made due to a lack of investment in new energy projects.

At the conference, miners complained of losing up to 12 hours of production time daily due to power cuts.

Zimbabweans are spending more than 12 hours each day without electricity both at home and at the office.

The Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company (ZETDC) recently offered some tips on managing electricity usage in the office saying this helps alleviate pressure on the grid. Here are the tips:

  • Replace all incandescent lights with compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) or light-emitting diodes (LEDs).
  • During the day, where possible, use natural lighting from windows rather than using lights.
  • Switch off all lights when leaving the office.
  • Switch off computers and printers from the plug, when leaving the office. Appliances on standby mode still consume energy.
  • Insulate water heaters, hot water piping, and tanks to reduce heat loss.
  • Invest in energy-efficient air conditioning systems and energy-efficient electronic devices. Opt for fan heaters instead of element heaters.
  • Go green, and use renewable energy. Consider installing solar panels for other energy needs, and sell the excess to the grid. – (Pindula)
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