HARARE – Zimbabwe experienced a major power outage after most energy units went down on Sunday.
Power went down at around 3pm before it was restored in some parts of the country three hours later, while the remaining areas were only put back online six hours later.
In an update, power utility ZESA Holdings said: “ZESA Holdings wishes to advise its valued customers countrywide of loss of power to most parts of the country this afternoon due to a system disturbance.
“The unplanned power outage was due to a system disturbance that led to a loss of one unit at Kariba Power Station, four units at Hwange Power Station, small thermals, power imports from Mozambique, and the Zambian interconnection, leading to the destabilisation of the national electricity grid.”
The power utility said restoration was currently underway. Zimbabwe – which is facing a biting energy crisis – at peak needs.
About 2,200 megawatts (MW) of power, but the country’s plants and imports are contributing 1,355MW. The country imports 300MW of power from South Africa’s power utility Eskom, between 100MW and 185MW from Mozambique, and 100MW from the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The $533-million Kariba Power Station expansion programme, expected to be completed by 2018, will add 300MW on the national grid and is now 40 percent complete. There is also the Batoka Hydro Station, a power project in the pipeline and to be located 50km downstream of Victoria Falls, which requires $3-billion to construct and if completed, will generate 2,400MW.
Several companies are seeking licences to set up solar projects in the country and complement the current thermal and hydro projects.