ZESA yesterday attributed the increase in power outages to a major technical fault at Hwange Power Station which has led to the loss of 471 megawatts (MW).
In a statement yesterday, Zesa said engineers were working to restore power generation to normal levels, but did not disclose what caused the fault.
“Zesa would like to advise its valued customers countrywide that there is an increase in load-shedding outside the published schedule, as previously advertised.
“This is due to loss of electricity generation at Hwange Power Station owing to a fault that caused a transformer malfunction at the station,” the statement said.
As at Wednesday, the country was producing 829MW instead of an average of 1 300MW when Hwange Power Station is on line.
The production levels are, however, a far cry of the country’s peak demand of 2 200MW.
The total generation was being contributed by Kariba, Harare and Bulawayo.
For the past two days, the country has been entirely dependent on Kariba (750MW), Harare (30MW), Munyati (24MW) and Bulawayo (24MW), a situation that has adversely affected most industries.
Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce deputy president Davison Norupiri said the power outages had already hurt the industrial sector with most companies failing to operate.
“We are going to have a further deterioration in terms of capacity utilisation.
“Most factories had cut their night shifts and were now working day shifts only, but due to load-shedding we have to cut even further,” Norupiri said.
“With the little we are doing in terms of production, we don’t want any further interruption and now we are being interrupted due to load-shedding.
“This is going to impact on us negatively in terms of cost of production and damages of machinery as some of the machinery are so sensitive that they don’t need unexpected power outages and power comebacks,” he said.
In his 2014 national budget statement, Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa said electricity generation was projected to grow by 4,5% this year prompted by the rehabilitation project at Hwange and other small power stations.