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Zimbabwe will Start a New Unit at its Only Coal-fired Power Plant by March

The unit of the Hwange power plant will increase the country’s installed capacity by more than 14% to 2,400MW. Another unit is expected to be commissioned soon after, Magna Mudyiwa said, without giving a timeline. Poor rainfall has led to a decline in hydropower generation, while the efficiency of the sole, decades-old coal-fired utility has fallen while demand has surged in recent years due to higher mining and agricultural activity. The IMF counts electricity shortages as one of the main factors weighing on Zimbabwe’s growth prospects. A lack of funding for coal-fired power is driving the mining and agriculture-dependent economy to import costly power from regional neighbours, including Zambia and Mozambique. Less than half of Zimbabwe’s 16-million people have access to power, and a worldwide squeeze on funding new coal-fired capacity has limited the country’s ability to plug chronic power cuts that have lasted as long as 18 hours in recent days.