HARARE, Feb 6 — The amount of electricity generated by the Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) continues to drop daily and the power utility said Thursday that output was slightly above 1,000 megawatts (MW).

Power output began to drop late last month to about 1,100 MW from about 1,400 MW generated in the past.
The declining power output has resulted in increased load-shedding, with some residential areas going for days without electricity.

According to statistics, as at 7.30 am on Thursday, the ZPC was generating 1,025 MW only. The Hwange thermal power station sent out 457 MW while the Kariba hydro-electric power station was generating 495 MW. The smaller thermal power stations at Harare, Munyati and Bulawayo were generating 20 MW, 29 MW and 24 MW respectively.

The ZPC said maintenance work and breakdowns at power stations were contributing to depressed power generation. It said unit 6 at Kariba was taken out of service for maintenance. “The unit is expected back in service on Feb 18,” ZPC said.

Zimbabwe is currently facing power shortages as national demand at peak periods is estimated at more than 2,000 MW. Demand far outstrips present generation capacity resulting in the shortfall being imported from regional power utilities.

However, because of its budget deficit, the government, through the ZPC, has embarked on several projects to increase output through expanding existing power stations and building new ones.

For example, work is in progress to expand Kariba Power Station by an additional two units which will add a combined 300 megawatts to the national grid on completion in 2018.

Plans are also in place to add two units at Hwange Power Station which would have a combined generation capacity of 600 megawatts.

Zimbabwe is also working with the Zambian government to build the Batoka Gorge power station which is expected to generate 1,600 MW of electricity to be shared equally by the two countries when completed.