Zimbabwe starts load shedding as drought hits Kariba Dam power station
Zimbabwe started implementing load shedding on Monday, after the government announced it was facing critical power shortfalls and had to introduce rotational power cuts in order to "balance the power supply available and the demand".
Power utility supplier the Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission & Distribution Company (ZETDC) last week said it had been forced to cut power generation at its Kariba Dam power plant due to low water levels. The dam, on the border of Zimbabwe and Zambia, is only 34% full and cannot generate electricity at optimal capacity.
The ZETDC said in a statement it was also facing generation constraints at Hwange Power Station, and limited imports from Eskom in South Africa and from Mozambique.
"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 power distributor said Sunday.
"[However] the the durations may be longer in the event of increased power shortfall to avoid the collapse of the National Electric grid.”
Zimbabwe has two stages of load shedding, compared to eight in South Africa.
Analysts say the impact of the power cuts will be significant to industry, which cannot easily turn to the use of generators amid limited availability of fuel.