Zimbabwe to impose load shedding on major industries
Harare - The Zimbabwean government has ordered all mining companies and other big industries to reduce their electricity consumption levels by 25% with immediate effect because of current nationwide power shortages.
According to newspaper reports on Wednesday, the Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company (ZETDC) is going to ask large users of power such as Mimosa, Unki, Zimplats, Zimasco, Zim Alloys and Afrochine to reduce their power usage.
Energy and Power Development Minister Samuel Undenge made the announcement on Tuesday while presenting his ministerial statement on the energy crisis in parliament.
“Noting that there are some large users of power such as Mimosa, Unki, Zimplats, Zimasco, Zim Alloys and Afrochine; these are to be asked by ZETDC to drop load by up to 25% on the basis of existing contracts,” said Undenge, adding that the move is expected to yield 25 MW.
“It would be up to these large power users to decide on which areas of their operations to load shed,” Undenge said.
The latest move will likely cripple mining houses already struggling with low commodity prices.
Last week the country’s gold producers asked government to cut electricity tariffs by half to prevent the collapse of mines struggling with low bullion prices.
The Chamber of Mines of Zimbabwe, which represents major mines including large gold producers, told the government that high power tariffs and royalties and a lack of capital are stifling the sector.