Tue. Dec 10th, 2019

Zimbabwe plunges into darkness with eight-to-ten-hour load shedding

Eskom load sheddingA last resort to prevent a total blackout in Zimbabwe.

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From Monday, Zimbabwe will be forced to institute load shedding to prevent the collapse of the Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company’s (ZETDC) power grid.

As reported by Polity News, the Zimbabwean government issued a notice on the state of the Kariba Dam, which is the main source of the power utility’s electricity generation.

Zimbabwe institutes load shedding as last resort

The dam, that cuts between the border of Zimbabwe and Zambia is sitting at an estimated 34% in capacity. The government noted that this does not offer enough to generate electricity at optimal levels.

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On Sunday, Zimbabweans received their power cut schedules and were told to expect to be out of power for as long as eight-to-ten hours, with rotational cuts scheduled to take place at peak hours in the morning and in the evening.

“Please be advised that ordinarily, load-shedding will be within the morning and evening peak periods of 05:00 to 10:00 and 17:00 to 22:00 respectively,” the government noted in its statement.

Power generation alternatives are too expensive

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Moreover, Zimbabweans were told to expect outages to carry on for extended hours beyond the scheduled times as the power grid is struggling to maintain stability.

Eskom has offered little help in feeding power to Hwange Power Station, the biggest thermal power plant in Zimbabwe, due to its own issues with maintaining order in South Africa.

It is feared that this will have a negative impact on the country’s economy, affecting key industries such as mining and agriculture.

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The limited availability of fuel reserves has made it impossible for the power utility to explore other power generation alternatives.

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