The southern African country already imports 300 MW from Zambia and Mozambique but has accumulated a debt of $100 million, hindering it from importing larger amounts of power.
Power shortages have hurt industry and the key mining sector but Energy and Power Development Minister Elton Mangoma said Zimbabwe had increased electricity output to 1,400 MW per day, from 1,100 MW, the highest in a decade.
This, however, is still far off the peak demand of 2,500 MW.
Mangoma said local power generation had risen after repairs at the main Hwange thermal power plant — whose six generating units can produce 950 MW — and at Kariba hydro station.
“This is the best (power generation) has been for over a decade, but certainly below the desired deal,” Mangoma told journalists.
“All six units at Hwange are now operational although not yet stable. Major maintenance at Kariba South have made it operate reliably at capacity (of 750 MW).”
Smaller thermal stations at Harare, Bulawayo and Munyati in central Zimbabwe, which had been mothballed for more than a decade, were now running and generating 65 MW.
The government plans to install two new 300 MW generation units at Hwange and was exploring the possibility of adding more units at Kariba for an additional 300 MW.
Mangoma early this month told Reuters that he had licensed five independent power producers who would more than double electricity output to 4,450 MW by 2014.
Mangoma said the government had ordered state power company ZESA to reverse a 30 percent hike in electricity tariffs announced last week, which has sparked an outcry from consumers and businesses, who say this will push up prices. Reuters