On Wednesday, the Zimbabwean government called on large manufacturers and companies in the mining sector to reduce their power consumption by 25%. This comes as a response to the country’s current power challenges, TimesLIVE reported.

Intensive power users to act

The companies called to action by the Zimbabwean Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company (ZETDC) include Mimosa, Unki, Zimplats, Zimasco, Zim Alloys as well as Afrochine.

The minister of energy and power development, Samuel Undenge, stated that due to the large power consumption of the respective companies, the ZETDC requested that they reduce their load by 25% “on the basis of existing contracts.”

According to Udenge, if the companies adhere to the request, 25MW of power would be saved.

He added: “It would be up to these large power users to decide on which areas of their operations to load shed.”

Model plans

Likewise, in September Zambia large power users also had to cut their electricity consumption by 30% in order to the help the power supplier meet the high demands, ESI reported.

According to Bloomberg, a power supplier to Zambian mines, Copperbelt Energy Corp, also noted that the mines had to consider cutting their power consumption as they get their power from imports.

Copperbelt Energy said “Almost all customers are happy to receive imports, therefore, no customers are currently being load shed.”

Up-skilling the sector

In other southern African news, SA Local Government Association at the Association of Municipal Electricity Utilities of Southern Africa (AMEU) commanded on the municipalities to consider investing in the training of engineers for the promotion of IPPs.

AMEU said this move could ease the pressure from the state-owned utility, Eskom by connecting IPP’s produce to the electricity distribution network.

Salga energy specialist Nhlanhla Ngidi said “We emphasis e training because you need engineers who are experienced in network design and network planning”.