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Zimbabwe industry applauds improved power situation

by Staff reporter
26 Jun 2023 at 06:46hrs | Views
THE business community has started feeling the positive impact of improved power generation in the country, expressing hope that the situation will continue to stabilise, thereby guaranteeing enhanced production and supply of goods.

Zimbabwe has grappled with acute power shortages in the past years, which have crippled production across various sectors of the economy while the use of generators as an alternative source of energy was said to be costly and not sustainable.

Recently, the country significantly improved its power output, mainly at Kariba Hydro-Power Station and Hwange Thermal Power Station, which continue to anchor domestic supplies following generation expansion works undertaken by the Government.

Before the expansion project, Hwange Power Station had an installed capacity of 920MW and the addition of 600MW from Units 7 and 8 will take the installed capacity to 1 520MW.

Kariba Power Station has already been expanded resulting in the addition of 300MW into the grid to take the installed capacity to 1 050MW, which, given adequate water levels, will generate adequate electricity to meet industrial and domestic demand.

According to Zimbabwe Power Company, the country's power generation has recently increased to about 1 600MW from an average of below 600MW in March this year. Yesterday the power utility indicated that total power generated stood at 1 530MW. The improved power generation has drastically reduced load-shedding across the country.

Commenting on this, Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce (ZNCC) Matebeleland chairman, Mr Mackenzie Dongo, said the improved power supply was impacting positively on productivity.

"Power generation stability is being greatly appreciated by the industry, especially manufacturing and processing. It reduces the cost of production and also reduces loss of productivity time due to unplanned power interruption," he said.

"It also reduces losses that were being incurred by those in the production industry like plastic moulding, whose production is interrupted due to power loss, which tends to produce half-baked moulds that at times could not be possible to recoup."

Mr Dongo said as businesses they were grateful to the Government for stabilising the power supply in the country as it assists in the economic development for a better 2030.

The country's economy is on a rebound due to various policies initiated by the Government that have seen growth in the mining and agricultural sectors.

Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI) president Mr Kurai Matsheza said manufacturing industries have also noted some improvements in power supply over the past few weeks.
He, however, said industries need assurance from the utility that there will be an uninterrupted supply of electricity on sustainable basis.

"If uninterrupted power is delivered then as industries, we will be able to plan our production schedules and be able to deliver products and services on time," he said.

"This will remove some of the bottlenecks in the value chain arising from power outages."
Consumer Council of Zimbabwe (CCZ) Matebeleland regional manager, Mr Comfort Muchekeza, said consumers were excited by the positive impact of improved power generation.

"The events of the past two weeks when it comes to the power supply are closer to what the consumers are expecting, thumbs up to the Government and all the independent power supply for a job well done.

"Consumers are happy with the improving situation. We pray that the situation remains improving," said Mr Muchekeza.

The US$1,4 billion Hwange Thermal Power Station Unit 7 and 8 expansion project is one of the Second Republic's signature projects aimed at boosting power generation to support economic transformation in line with the National Development Strategy.

Experts say the continued improvement in power generation will help Zimbabwe reduce electricity imports and ease power cuts thereby allowing companies to increase production.

Source - The Chronicle