The worst power outage is currently undergoing in Zimbabwe, making the Southern African country facing an appalling economic crisis. The blackouts, happening in a consistent frequency, were resulted from the water levels’ drop at Kariba Dam, which is a source of water that generates the power bundles for the country. And now, the demand for power is higher than what the source could supply.
From May, the generated power is only up for 7 hours a day from 10 P.M. to 5 P.M. This condition has forced businesses to shut down their operation or either adopted the night schedule for work. Econet Wireless, Zimbabwe’s subsidiary company resorted to batteries and solar usage when running their operations to make sure the company’s still in the business.
With the increasing concerns over the power crisis, Zimbabwe managed to receive an investment from Exim Bank of India for a USD 4 million. This investment is made with improving the power supply across the country in mind. Earlier this year, the country earned a respite from Eskom, South Africa’s state power utility, in which the state enterprise agreed to supply 400 MW of electricity. The quasi-loan investment is expected to be paid back in 20 years.
As for the funding, it will be streamed into 2 phases. The first funding of USD 23 million will be directed to finance the repair and upgrade cost of Bulawayo thermal power plant, and the second credit facility, worth a USD 19,5 million, will be used to finance the construction phase of the Deka pumping and water collection station, in hopes to increase the production of electrical energy in return.
Renovation of the power plant’s capacity is also to be expected since the former plant capacity had a falling figure to 20 MW from 90 MW due to the insufficient amount of maintenances. The funding will focus on this matter, therefore would improve the production capacity of the plant.
Zimbabwe’s older debts to Eskom also prevented the country from accessing the power. The country’s power utility, ZESA, owed a USD 80 million to Eskom and Mozambique’s HCP power company, but now the debts have been cleared in some parts, and by signing an agreement regarding the debt settlement plan with Eskom, ZESA is obliged to pay a USD 890K on a weekly basis to ESKOM in order to continue their power support from state power utility.