Far-reaching measures to avert Zim power crisis

Zimbabwean Energy and power development Minister Elton Mangoma has tabled far-reaching measures in Parliament, to avert a power crisis in the country.

The Minister said power cuts were affecting people across the country, and that the Government had a series of plans to improve the situation. However, he noted: “There was no way we could resolve in three years a decay process that began decades ago.”

Mangoma said no new generation capacity had been created in the country since 1984, with inadequate maintenance on existing facilities, and that there had been a steady increase in demand.

Among the plans to improve the power generation capacity of the country, the department was assessing ways to improve the output of existing facilities, taking immediate steps to assist the ZPC in facilitating the planned Gairezi hydro scheme. This is estimated to cost USD90m and the project will take 18-24 months. The Department is also supporting efforts to determine what gas resources are available at Lupane, with a view to using it for power generation.

In addition, planning is underway to harness solar energy, with a possible solar plant as well as solar lamps and panels for houses.

Negotiations are also underway on the importing of electricity from neighbouring countries.

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