Zesa gives winter  warmer cheer

Zesa gives winter warmer cheer

Debra Matabvu
ZIMBABWEANS will not experience power cuts this winter season as the Zimbabwe Electricity Distribution Transmission Company, a subsidiary of power utility Zesa, says it will meet demand.
Zesa spokesperson Mr Fullard Gwasira said there would only be minimal load shedding if demand rose above projected levels.
According to another Zesa subsidiary, the Zimbabwe Power Company on its website, about 1 005MW is being produced by Kariba, Hwange, Harare, Bulawayo and Munyati power stations.
The power utility is also banking on the Dema diesel generator, which is expected to produce 200MW during the peak of winter, while Harare Power Station will add 40MW to the grid.
Power imports from South Africa and Mozambique will shore up any shortfalls.
“The power supply situation currently prevailing in the country is that there is no load shedding and it is anticipated that this position will prevail right through the winter season for all customers,” Mr Gwasira said.
“However, if electricity demand rises beyond the projected levels, customers may witness load shedding, though mechanisms have been put in place to minimise the impact.
“The supply portfolio mix between imports and local generation is reviewed constantly. We are able to meet the current power demand from local generating assets of Kariba South Hydro Power Station, Hwange Thermal Power station and the three small thermal of Harare, Bulawayo and Munyati, coupled with imports from fellow regional utilities such as Eskom of South Africa and Hydro Cahorra Bassa (HCB) of Mozambique, among others.”
Zimbabwe requires 1 800MW of electricity daily in winter due to higher consumption from use of gadgets like heaters and geysers.
According to the Southern African Power Pool’s latest monthly report, power trade has significantly declined in the region – an indication that most countries in Sadc do not have electricity shortfalls.
In recent years, electricity customers were hit by power cuts during winter, with some suburbs going for more than 16 hours without electricity. Zimbabwe’s power supply situation has been stable since December 2015.

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    At the peak of load shedding last year ZESA blamed falling water levels at Kariba power station, as if it was only in 2015 that water levels at Kariba dropped, when in truth they were not receiving supplies from imports owing to non-payment. Local power generation has not changed much since those bad days. The emergency power plants are not yet up and running. Neither has the water levels at Kariba risen significantly. Yet we have had no load shedding this year. Now that Eskom has just assured its nation of uninterrupted supplies this winter because of adequate power production, ZESA follows suit by promising Zimbabweans continuous supplies. Any alert consumer should now see clearly the reasons behind last year’s load shedding. ZESA was simply not being honest with the nation.