The power blackouts announced by South Africa’s Eskom will exacerbate power shortages in neighbouring Zimbabwe.
Eskom’s cuts will affect imports that Zimbabwe receives from Africa’s largest power utility, Zimbabwe Electricity Distribution Co. said on Twitter Wednesday. The southern African nation has a non-binding agreement to import up to 400 megawatts from Eskom, while an additional 100 megawatts is imported from Mozambique.
The availability of power from utilities with which Zimbabwe has power-purchase agreements has an impact on the performance of the national grid, especially at a time when the country is experiencing a deficit, Zesa Holdings spokesman Fullard Gwasira said by text message. “The corresponding decline in imports will be reflected in increased load shedding,” he said, using the local term for rolling blackouts.
Blackouts in Zimbabwe already last as much as 18 hours a day and the country spends $23 million monthly on electricity imports, according to the energy regulator.
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