Zimbabwe Power-Plant Disruption Cuts Supply Across Country

Zimbabwe’s state-owned power utility said it lost generating capacity at the southern African nation’s main plants today, cutting supply to the central business district in Harare, the capital.

Distribution has been disrupted “across the country,” Fullard Gwasira, a spokesman for Zesa Holdings (Pvt) Ltd., said by phone. The company is trying to restore units at the Kariba hydropower and Hwange thermal-power facilities. “It isn’t clear how long it’ll take to rectify the faults, but we’re working as fast as we possibly can,” he said.

Parts of the capital haven’t had electricity for two days. The country, which has the world’s biggest known reserves of platinum and chrome after South Africa, produces an average of 1,300 megawatts of power compared with peak demand of 2,200 megawatts, resulting in daily rationing and blackouts that have paralyzed mines and industry, according to the Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries.

Zimbabwe’s Chamber of Mines, whose members include Impala Platinum Holdings Ltd.’s Zimplats unit, and the Mimosa mine that Impala jointly owns with Aquarius Platinum Ltd., didn’t answer calls.

Ben Bvumaranda, who owns a luxury furniture-making business in Harare’s eastern Msasa industrial area, said he had sent workers home.

“I’ll call them back when power is restored, but I have had no electricity since last night and calls to Zesa’s fault desk are constantly engaged, so we have no idea how long this will be,” he said by phone. “All we know is it is costing money.”

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