Completion of power supply agreement between Zimbabwe and Zambia welcome
FOR about 10 days, the country has been experiencing prolonged power cuts; strong winter demand and breakdowns of production facilities aggravating historically low production capacities.
A few days ago, the country lost a unit that produces 125 MW at the Kariba hydroelectric plant. The Hwange and Harare coal-fired power plants also underperformed.
This drastically reduced production, hence the long periods without electricity for the country.
Fortunately, respite is on the way.
The country will start receiving 100MW from Zambia’s state-owned ZESCO early next month under a five-year deal, our sister newspaper The Sunday Mail reported yesterday.
Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company (ZETDC) Acting Managing Director Mr Howard Choga said ZESCO demanded to be paid before delivering the electricity.
“We signed electricity import agreements with Zambia a long time ago, but we were not getting electricity from there due to cash flow problems,” he said.
“Now, because we have prepaid, we expect this to be settled in the coming weeks and we will start receiving 100MW from Zambia.
We have to prepay them one month before receiving the electricity.
With 100 MW secured from Zambia, ZETDC will expect Mozambique to add 150 MW to the 50 MW it already exports to us.
A team from Mozambique was expected here yesterday for a week-long visit during which the deal to increase feed is expected to be sealed.
Mr. Choga said:
“We are getting 50 MW from Cahora Bassa and 50 MW from EDM in Mozambique.
We had signed an agreement for 200 MW with EDM, but we only had access to 50 MW.
So they are sending a delegation to the country tomorrow (today) and they will be in the country for the whole week, so we will discuss how we can access the remaining 150 MW.
Hopefully the Mozambique talks would be successful.
If this happens, the country’s energy supply would be increased by 250 MW.
This will be a welcome addition to the 1,201 MW average that we produce locally.
After enduring probably our worst load shedding in recent months, as Energy and Power Development Minister Zhemu Soda told parliament on Wednesday, we look forward to imported power arriving as soon as possible. and for underperforming local units to return to maximum production. .
The need for enough electricity is obvious.
Electricity is the engine of an economy, hospitals need it to preserve the health and life of patients and households need it for cooking, lighting, etc.
Without it, activities come to a halt, health facilities struggle to provide essential services and homes become dysfunctional.
We therefore commend the government, through the ZETDC, for finalizing the Zambian transaction and moving the Mozambican transaction forward.
We also hope that the Zimbabwe Power Company is working hard to get the failed Kariba unit back to work and ensure the overall stability of the system so that the country has a reliable power supply.
Hwange Thermal Power Plant is expected to start delivering new generation as planned when one of the two 300MW units under construction comes into operation around October and the other by the March quarter of 2023.
This would increase the general availability of electricity while improving local production. The industry will work well.
Previously, ZETDC struggled to obtain enough foreign exchange to finance the import of electricity.
However, this time, we are sure that a recent government decision allowing ZETDC to invoice exporting companies in foreign currencies will help mobilize adequate resources for the parastatal to settle its invoices with foreign suppliers.