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Zim power export to commence next month

...as South Africa also looks to Zambia power import

By OLIVER SAMBOKO

ZAMBIA is next week earmarked to start exporting 100MW of electricity to Zimbabwe which is grappling with increased load management due to high demand.

Energy Minister Peter Kapala disclosed that Zambia and Zimbabwe signed a five-year electricity deal that will see Zesco export 100MW to the neighbouring country.

He said Zimbabwe is facing a critical shortage of power worsened by depressed generation at Hwange and Harare thermal power stations, including the loss of one unit at Kariba South Power Station.

Mr Kapala said the Zimbabwe Power Company (ZESA) is producing only 1, 201MW at its five power stations against peak winter season demand of 2, 200MW.

According to ZESA, Kariba South was by last week generating only 758MW against an installed capacity of 1, 050MW and Hwange Power Station 411MW against an installed capacity of 920MW.

This, according to Mr Kapala, has forced ZESA to facilitate the creation of a group of intensive energy users to finance power imports from the region including Zambia.

He however, said the export deal is premised on Zimbabwe making pre-payments of US$6.3 million for the 100 MW, which will come from Kafue Gorge Lower.

Meanwhile, Mr Kapala says South African President Cyril Ramaphosa who addressed the energy crisis in his country on Monday, outlined sweeping plans to deal with a prolonged energy crisis and is looking towards Zambia for a solution.

He said South Africa is going through two weeks of stage-6 load shedding, which has resulted in multiple power cuts lasting between two and four hours.

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