Zimbabwe power supplies to improve

By Tichaona Kurewa

The electricity supply situation in the country is set to improve after ZESA Holdings paid part of their power importation debt to three key regional suppliers.

The Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company (ZETDC) recently paid part of its power supply debts to Eskom of South Africa, Electricity De Mozambique (EDM) and Cahora Bassa of Mozambique.

The development will give the power utility the leverage to negotiate for more power imports, pending completion of the rehabilitation of the Kariba Dam wall which led to a reduction in power generation, the expansion project at Hwange Power Station which will add 600 megawatts to the national grid and other projects around the country.

ZESA Spokesperson, Dr George Manyaya said: “We can confirm that we have made progress in the settling of power import bills to our regional suppliers that fall in the Southern African Power Pool (SAPP) and we would like to thank the Government and Afreximbank for the coordinated interventions in ensuring that we pay up our dues.”

Over US$15 million is required to import enough power per month and various other interventions are being considered to further improve the power supply situation in the country.

“To have a balance in demand and supply, we need power import to sustain the growth. We need USD$17 million per month to import enough power. Various negotiations and dispensation are on-going to ensure that we continue to import electricity so as to compliment the various internal initiatives that we have embarked on.”

Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce (ZNCC) Mashonaland Vice President, Josephine Takundwa welcomed the development saying it augurs well with the on-going industrialisation drive.

“It comes as a welcome development that ZESA has managed to pay its arrears to various suppliers of electricity to Zimbabwe. As we start the new year, this means to us as business that we can improve operations and for manufacturing they should be able to increase capacity utilisation, it means that they will be able to have more shifts compared to the number of shifts they engaged in the last quarter of 2021. We trust that this change can be sustainable over a long period of time so that as business we will also have sustainable recovery.”

As of this Monday, Zimbabwe is producing about 1200 megawatts per day against a peak demand of 1700 megawatts.

To cover the deficit, ZESA is importing up to 400 megawatts depending on load shedding and availability from power exporters.

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