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Blackouts Widen in Zimbabwe With Breakdown of Hwange Power Plant

Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority CEO Ben Rafemoyo told Reuters that the thermal generating units in Hwange, Matabeleland North province, would not be back on line until late March

The Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority warned of extended power cuts on Tuesday citing continued breakdowns at the thermal generating plant in Hwange, Matabeleland North province.

ZESA Chief Executive Officer Ben Rafemoyo told the Reuters news agency that the Hwange units would not be back on line until late March.

An Energy Ministry source said the country currently disposed of less than half of the 1,000 megawatts it needed due to the Hwange breakdowns and a partial failure at the hydroelectric plant in Kariba, on the country's northeast border with Zambia.

Marah Hativagoni, managing director of CodChem (Private) Limited, a producer of food ingredients, and a former president of the Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce, told VOA reporter Jonga Kandemiiri that power cuts are seriously affecting business operations, especially in manufacturing.