Zimbabwe Turns to Mozambique, Zambia to Ease Power Cuts

A Zimbabwean family plays card 21 January 2007 in Harare after the second power cut, which has hit most parts of the country. Zimbabwe is experiencing a serious energy crisis with some areas going for up to 10 hours without electricity prompting many families to resort to using generators, firewood and candles for lighting. AFP PHOTO/Desmond Kwande (Photo by DESMOND KWANDE / AFP)

HARARE (Bloomberg) –Zimbabwe asked Mozambique and Zambia to supply it with more electricity as it tries to fill a power shortfall that’s led to outages of 12 hours a day.

“We are in discussions with Mozambique for the recently commissioned power plants to give us an additional 180 megawatts,” Energy Minister Soda Zhemu told lawmakers Wednesday, according to a transcript on parliament’s website. “We are also at final stage of discussion with Zambia to get an additional 100 megawatts.”

The current electricity cuts were because of rehabilitation work at the Kariba South hydropower plant, constraints at its coal-fired Hwange plant and limited power imports, according to the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority.

A total of 1,276 megawatts was being produced by plants in the country on Thursday, according to data from the state-owned power company. Demand is at 1,700 megawatts. The two neighboring countries currently supply Zimbabwe with as much as 170 megawatts of electricity.