Mozambique’s 2,040-MW Cahora Bassa increases power to Zimbabwe

Mozambique’s 2,040-MW Cahora Bassa hydroelectric project has doubled the amount of electricity being delivered to Zimbabwe, restoring some of the power that had been cut because of Zimbabwe’s failure to pay due to economic crisis.

Cahora Bassa’s operator, Hidroelectrica de Cahora Bassa, increased supplies to Zimbabwe to 300 MW from 150 MW, Chief Executive Ben Rafemoyo of Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority told the government’s Herald newspaper. Mozambique now is meeting nearly half of Zimbabwe’s demand of 650 MW, the utility said.

“We negotiated with them … and they understood our plight,� Rafemoyo said. �So, they really responded positively and decided to add 150 MW to what we have been getting.”

Zimbabwe has suffered chronic electricity shortages, adding to an economic crisis and rising political tension over President Robert Mugabe’s 27-year rule. Cahora Bassa cut power exports to Zimbabwe during the winter after Zimbabwe failed to pay.

“We are yet to pay our bills for July and August and in total we have outstanding obligations of four months’ supply, which is around $20 million,� Rafemoyo said. �But they have maintained supplies to us.”

Zimbabwe also receives electricity from South Africa, Zambia, and the Democratic Republic of Congo, but foreign currency shortages have made payments erratic.

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