Africa Energy: Zimbabwe electricity imports to continue until 2027

Zimbabwe is expected to continue relying on electricity imports for the next eight years due to lack of investment in the sector, a leading international think-tank has said quoted by Bulawayo News.

The southern African country requires 2 400 megawatts (MW) per day to meet national demand, while it only produces an average of 1 200MW. In order to bridge the gap, Zimbabwe has over the years been importing power from South Africa and Mozambique.

BMI Research, in its Zimbabwe Power 2019 first quarter report said hydropower and coal-fired power will remain the dominant sources of domestic generation, but below average rainfall and coal production challenges will impact power generation.

“Below-average rainfall caused by an ElNiño weather event will place downward pressure on hydropower in 2019, as the government works to avoid water shortages.

“However, a return to normal rainfall levels towards the end of 2019 will see the sector recover, and generation from the newly completed Kariba South facility will boost total domestic electricity output from 2020,” the research firm said.

BMI Research indicated that exports will help the country meet demand while hydropower and coal-fired power will remain the dominant sources of generation.

However, in 2017, the country completed the extension project of Kariba South Power Station which has enhanced security of internal power supply. As a result, the Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) surpassed its energy delivery target for the third quarter of 2018.

ZPC surpassed its production target for the period by 19,10 percent, having sent out a total of 2,521.27GWh of energy against a target of 2,116.99GWh. 

“Performance was 24,21 percent above the output for 3rd quarter, 2017. This positive achievement can be attributed to the increased generation at Kariba Power Station, following the increased water allocation by Zambezi River Authority by 3Bm3 in August, thereby increasing the average output for the remaining months of the year to 831MW. 

“This came as a welcome development to ZPC as it resulted in increased generation at Kariba South Power Station which now has a generation capacity of 1050MW owing to the recent commissioning of the 2 X 150MW additional units. For the year to date, ZPC sent out 6342,54GWh, surpassing the target for the period by 4.92 percent,” ZPC said in its quarterly power production update.

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