ZIMBABWE’S power output for the first quarter of 2020 fell by over 21 percent.
The Zimbabwe Power Company has revealed that the country power output stood at 1293.86 Gigawatt hours (GWh), 21.56 percent down prior comparable period on the back of depressed generation at power stations.
The country, however, did not feel this power generation slump as power imports plugged in the deficit.
In a statement released yesterday, ZPC said power generation at Kariba was depressed during the first three months of the year, while Hwange output was 32.63 percent below first quarter target.
“Given the operating environment, ZPC sent out 1 293.86 GWh against a target of 1 608.25GWh, representing a negative variance of 19,55 percent. The output of 1 293.86 GWh is 21,56 percent below the output for the same period in 2019.
“We attribute this to the COVID-19 outbreak and its consequential lockdown, depressed generation at Kariba due to low lake levels and unavailability of Unit 6 and Unit 3 at Hwange throughout the quarter,” the firm said.
ZPC pointed out that the COVID-19 mandated lockdown had also resulted in interruption of maintenance works as contractors declared force majeure.
Force majeure, according to Wikipedia, is a common clause in contracts that essentially frees both parties from liability or obligation when an extraordinary event or circumstance beyond the control of the parties, such as a war, strike, riot, crime, epidemic or an event described by the legal term act of God, prevents one or both parties from fulfilling their obligations under the contract.
ZPC added that expansion work at Unit 7 and 8 at Hwange continued on track, albeit, slightly behind schedule with progress at 41,5 percent.
“This is due to the effects of the COVID-19 which have adversely affected the procurement and manufacturing of equipment. The novel virus has had serious implications on the project progress as personnel cannot travel to or from China for manufacturing and procurement of equipment,” said the company.