Zimbabwe secures 700 MW electricity per month to ease outages
London, August 6, 2019 (AltAfrica)-Zimbabwe will ramp up its electricity imports over the next few weeks, potentially easing rolling power cuts, after it agreed to make payments to clear its debt to a regional power utility.
George Guvamatanga, secretary for the ministry of finance, told business leaders in Harare that Zimbabwe had agreed to make weekly payments to clear its debt to a regional power utility, which would start providing at least 400 MW of electricity a month, starting from this week.
That would take total imports to 700 MW a month.
Guvamatanga did not name the supplier. Zimbabwe typically buys electricity from South Africa’s Eskom and Hydro Cahora Bassa of Mozambique.
Zimbabwe owes more than $70 million to Eskom and Hydro Cahora Bassa of Mozambique for past power supplies.
Zimbabwe citizens have endured 18-hour daily power cuts since May as a result of a prolonged drought that has reduced output at its largest hydro plant and ageing coal-fired generators that keep breaking down.
Foreign power companies also stopped supplying Zimbabwe with electricity in 2017 after the country failed to pay its bills, although Zimbabwe resumed limited imports of 300 MW a month last week.