Power Cuts in Zimbabwe Worsen As Country Begins
Electricity Exports to Namibia
Jan 11, 2008 - BBC Monitoring
Power cuts worsened throughout the
country this week after the Zimbabwe Electricity
Supply Authority (Zesa) started exporting power
to Namibia at a time when Mozambican power utilities
Hidroelectrica de Cahora Bassa (HCB) and Electrica
de Mocambique suspended supplies to Zimbabwe over
a ballooning debt.
Zesa started exporting 40 megawatts
of power to Namibia on January 3 under the Nampower
contract, a development that created a major power
deficit for local consumers.
Zesa spokesman Fullard Gwasira confirmed
the export saying it was a contractual obligation
on the part of Zesa.
"Nampower met its part of the obligation
by availing the loan facility, but like all loans,
the conditions stipulated that the debt be amortised
by power exports," he said.
"The impact of the exports is minimal
but by the end of the project, it will leave Zesa
with a refurbished plant and better performing units
with a greater electricity generation potential."
Zesa again confirmed that Mozambique
has suspended power supplies to Zimbabwe.
"The switching off of power is a credit
management option which was available for HCB and
they have exercised it," Gwasira said.
Despite Zesa claims that it had reduced
its debt, HCB said the outstanding debt has ballooned
to US$26 million resulting in the suspension of
Zesa last week said it had reduced
its debt by US$7million, bringing the amount paid
to the power utilities to US$35 million within one
and half a months and it was negotiating for an
increase in power exports.
Zesa chief engineer Ben Rafemoyo said
they were negotiating with suppliers to increase
up to 300 megawatts from the 75 megawatts power
currently coming from Mozambique.
The development has plunged more than
70 per cent of the country, mostly cities, into
darkness. The areas hit worst by the blackouts this
week included Harare, Bulawayo, Gweru, Masvingo,
Chitungwiza, Kadoma, Chipinge, Chegutu, Chiredzi
Load shedding has been restricted
to residential areas but has now spread to the city
centres and industries.
Originally published by Zimbabwe Independent
website, Harare, in English 11 Jan 08.
(c) 2008 BBC Monitoring Africa. Provided
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