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Credit: News 24


Eskom supplies half of Zim electricity imports



SOUTH Africa’s power utility Eskom accounted for more than 50% of Zimbabwe’s total imported electricity as the country and the region battles a power crisis due to limited investment and climate crisis change-related factors, figures obtained from the national statistics agency have shown.


 Zimbabwe mainly relies on coal-fired Hwange thermal power station and Kariba hydro-power for its energy requirements.

But growing energy demand driven by a recovery in agriculture, particularly tobacco and wheat farming as well as mining, have outstripped supply.

 According to the latest Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency (ZimStat) quarterly electricity generation report, a total of 2,222.5 gigawatt hours (GWh) of electricity were generated during fourth quarter of 2023.

 Hwange Thermal Power and Kariba Power Station accounted for 65.1% and 30.7%, respectively. The Index of Electricity Generation for the 4th quarter 2023 was 88.1, reflecting a year-on-year percentage increase of 23.7 when compared to 71.2 recorded in 4th quarter 2022.

The quarter-on-quarter comparison shows the index decreased by 12.9% from 101.2 in the third quarter of 2023 to 88.1 in the fourth quarter of 2023.

“56 percent of the 379.1GWh electricity imported during 4th quarter 2023 was from Eskom (South Africa), while 33 percent was from HCB (Mozambique),” Zimstat says.

 “A total of 379.1GWh of electricity were imported during 4th quarter 2023, reflecting a 10.2 percent quarter-on-quarter decrease from 422.1 GWh imported in 3rd quarter 2023. In total, there was an 11.4 percent decline in the volume of electricity imported during 2023 (2,040.5GWh) than in 2022 (2,303.6GWh).”

 On the contrary, the volume of electricity exported in 4th quarter 2023 was 113.7GWh, representing a 4% increase from 109.3GWh exported in the third quarter of 2023.

In total, the volume of electricity exported in 2023 (339.6GWh) was 14% less than exported in 2022 (395.1GWh), ZimStat says The report also shows that the total volume of electricity distributed during the fourth quarter of 2023 was 2192.2GWh, resulting in a 5.4% decrease from 2316.5GWh distributed in the third quarter of 2023.

The manufacturing sector, which is currently operating below optimal level, the report shows, accounted for nearly 30% of the distributed electricity, followed by domestic consumers who accounted for nearly a quarter.

 The mining sector, which accounts for more than 50% of the country’s export receipts, used 18.6% of the distributed electricity.

 Agriculture, which has been on a recovery path, accounted for just 5.6% of the distributed electricity.

According to the World Bank, Zimbabwe’s energy sector has begun lagging behind other lower middle income countries in sub-Saharan Africa as the nation requires US$4.4 billon to upgrade its power infrastructure.

Experts say despite some recent developments, Zimbabwe’s electricity sector still faces power supply deficits and the slowing of progress toward universal electricity access.

The country still suffers from significant power deficits.

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