Browsing: ZESA

A man drives cattle past electricity pylons during frequent power outages from South African utility Eskom, caused by its aging coal-fired plants, in Soweto, South Africa. www.theexchange.africa

Zimbabwe has been experiencing intermittent power generation shortfalls due to an ageing plant at its Kariba hydropower station and the main coal-driven power generators at Hwange.

According to Crisis 24, Zimbabwe will likely remain susceptible to rounds of load shedding through 2022 and possibly beyond if additional power production capacity is not made available. In mid-June, a circular from Meikles Hotel in Zimbabwe said that they have been operating on generator power for about a week and were now offering guests buckets of hot water to bath with. This is also one of the effects of the increased power cuts evident, although it is a few months apart.

Crisis 24 added that temporary commercial and communications disruptions are possible while load shedding and unscheduled disruptions are taking place; cellular and mobile services could be affected. Traffic disruptions and longer driving times are possible during these periods due to malfunctioning traffic signals. Power outages could also result in the temporary unavailability of essential services such as ATMs and filling stations.

Last week, the biggest power generation plant in Zimbabwe, Kariba South, was generating only 758MW against an installed capacity of 1 050MW.

Hwange Power Station was generating 411MW against an installed capacity of 920MW.

Completing Unit 7 in November this year and Unit 8 at Hwange Power Station by March next year will add 600MW to the grid and help ensure reliable and sustainable supplies to meet growing demand.

Meanwhile, ZESA can now legally incorporate drones in its service delivery. This announcement was made at an event the national power company held to mark its acquisition of a Remotely Piloted Aircraft Operator’s Certificate (ROC).

The Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA) is now legally able to incorporate drones in its infrastructure management. This announcement was made at an event the national power company held to mark its acquisition of a Remotely Piloted Aircraft Operator’s Certificate (ROC).

According to an article by Newsday published on June 15, 2022, speaking at ZESA’s drone technology certification ceremony in Harare Executive Chairman Sydney Gata said certification of the use of drone technology in their day-to-day operations is expected to improve service delivery.

“This will enable a quicker turn-around in fault finding and rectification resulting in the continuous and consistent provision of electricity to our customers. Drone technology will also assist ZETDC in its fight against vandalism and theft of electricity.”

ZESA is battling a myriad of challenges including incessant faults, mainly emanating from aging power distribution infrastructure. This has seen the country grappling with endless power cuts.

Given that South Africa is experiencing similar power generation problems, Robertson believes that if Zimbabwe does not overcome its power difficulties, this will impede economic growth in 2021.

The mining and industrial industries will almost certainly curtail output.

Tax and export income will decline, as will employment growth. This is unfortunate because Zimbabwe wouldn’t be going through all this pain if it had started constructing new power plants earlier.