Zimbabwe buying power from Eskom to ease shortage

By Doug Mattushek - 07 August 2019Views : 1555

The Zimbabwean government is paying Eskom weekly for a boost to its struggling power grid.

The African nation is purchasing 400 megawatts of power from Eskom for R13 million a week to tide them over until the crisis can be solved.

Zimbabwe's major power plant, the Kariba hydro scheme, is struggling to cope with demand due to low water levels. Currently, there are rolling blackouts for as long as 18 hours in some areas.

"Cabinet was informed by the minister of energy and power development that an arrangement to unlock 400MW has been concluded with Eskom," Business Live reports information minister Monica Mutsvangwa as saying.

"In terms of this arrangement, government has commenced through treasury the payment of $890 000 per week towards settlement of its debt with Eskom."

The Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) revealed that the power station is producing around 20% of its usual output and if rain doesn't fill up Kariba dam by September, it will have to be shut down altogether.

"The minimum level is 475 metres and currently we are on 478 metres," confirmed ZPC business development manager Bernard Chizengeya.

"If we keep on generating the way we are doing, by September we will actually shut down Kariba. There will be no power coming from there. So we need to manage it."