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Zimbabwe may experience massive power outage over unpaid debt

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Staff Writer | May 24, 2017
Zimbabwe, which has not had power cuts for the past one and half years, might experience massive load shedding starting next week if the power utility fails to settle its power import bill with Mozambican and South African power utilities.
Zimbabwe electricity
Africa   Mozambican and South African power utilities
ZESA Holdings chief executive Josh Chifamba was quoted by the state-run Herald newspaper on Tuesday as saying that the utility was failing to pay $43 million it owes South Africa's Eskom and Mozambique's Hidroelectrica de Cahora Bassa (HCB) due to foreign currency shortages.

The $43 million is coming from a payment plan that ZESA struck with the two regional power utilities early this year.

According to the plan, ZESA should have paid $89 million between January and April this year but only managed to pay 46 million.

HCB and Eskom gave ZESA up to May 31, 2017 to pay up the debt failure of which the two utilities would cut off power supplies.

Overally, ZESA owes Eskom 80 million and $40 million to HCB.

Eskom supplies Zimbabwe with 300 megawatts (MW) while HCB provides 50 megawatts.

Zimbabwe requires 1,400 MW daily but is able to produce around 980 MW due to aged power plants.

Chifamba said ZESA was making frantic efforts to secure the money to clear the debt.

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