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Zimbabwe's Electricity Demand Seen Soaring Amid Chronic Outages

  • Jonga Kandemiiri

Zimbabwe needs between 1900 to 2200 megawatts but only manages to generate between 900 to 1200 and imports 35 megawatts from Mozambique and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Power cuts have become chronic and widespread

The Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority says power demand for 2012 is projected to increase by 29 percent as the mining industry revives.

Zimbabwe needs between 1900 to 2200 megawatts but only manages to generate between 900 to 1200. It imports 35 megawatts from neighboring Mozambique and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Power cuts have become chronic and widespread.

Zesa spokesman Fullard Gwasira could not be reached for comment.

Zimbabwe imports 35 percent of its electricity from Mozambique and Democratic Republic of Congo, which still falls short of demand, resulting in long and chronic daily power cuts.

The country is the third-largest power consumer in Africa after South Africa and Nigeria, according to the World Bank index. Zimbabwe's economy is estimated to expand 9.4 percent in 2012, led by growth in the finance and mining industries.

“Developments in the mining sector include Maranatha Ferrochrome at 13 mega volt amperes, Mazoe gold mine at 5.5 mega volt amperes and RioZim Ltd. at 5 mega volt amperes,” Harare-based ZETDC said in a new report.

Employers Confederation of Zimbabwe Executive Director John Mufukare told VOA's Jonga Kandemiiri that they agree with ZESA’s projection but the power shortages will continue unless ZESA commissions new power stations.

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