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Eskom helps Zim weather power crunch

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Harare - Zimbabwe is getting a 300 MW energy boost from Eskom, as the country suffers a power crunch amid reduced capacity caused by falling water levels at the Kariba dam.

This comes as China has reportedly agreed to release US$1.2bn for the refurbishment and expansion of Zimbabwe's Hwange Thermal Power Station.

According to state-run newspaper The Sunday Mail, Chinese President Xi Jinping signed the release of the funds with the loan now awaiting the formality of approval by Zimbabwe's Parliament.

The power deal coincides with further deterioration of water levels at Zimbabwe's other source of power, the Kariba dam.

The Zambezi River Authority has since reduced its water allocation to Zimbabwe's power utility to 10 cubic metres from 33 cubic metres.

The move will see Zimbabwe's capacity to generate electricity from Kariba being reduced to 285 MW from the current 475 MW and against a capacity of 750 MW.

The Harare government is however making frantic efforts to close the gap and is already getting 300 MW from Eskom.

Two companies have also been contracted, separately, to generate 120 MW and 200 MW using diesel fired electricity power plants.

Zimbabwe is experiencing a power deficit, with daily electricity of demand of 2 200 MW against an installed capacity of 1 100MW.

Power generation has however gone down significantly, with Hwange generating about 536 MW and now Kariba being reduced to 285 MW.

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