Econet Sees Carbon Footprint Rise as Power Cuts Hit Zimbabwe

(Bloomberg) –Econet Wireless Ltd., the biggest telecommunications operator in Zimbabwe, said an erratic power supply has led to an increase in carbon footprint and the cost of doing business.

The company is reliant on emissions-heavy diesel generators to supplement what it can draw from the national grid, Chairman James Meyers said in the annual report. “We continue working to enhance our green footprint and reduce carbon emissions by increasing the number of solar-powered base station sites,” he said.

Econet plans a 61% increase in the number of such stations to 278 next year from 172.

Power outages of as many as 12 hours a day are commonplace in Zimbabwe. The cuts are due to rehabilitation work at the Kariba South hydropower plant, constraints at the coal-fired Hwange plant and limited power imports, according to the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority.

A total of 1,195 megawatts was being produced by plants in the country on Monday, according to data from the state-owned power company. Demand is at 1,700 megawatts.

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