Commercial Farmers Union of Zimbabwe

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ZESA

ZESA to import Zambian power

ZESA to import Zambian power

Lunsemfwa-Diversion-DamMartin Kadzere Senior Business Reporter
ZESA Holdings is in talks with Lunsemfwa Hydro Power Company of Zambia to import electricity to boost domestic supply, officials from both companies said yesterday.

Zimbabwe’s power plants produce an average 1 200 megawatts, about half of its peak demand. The country is minimising power shortages through imports from the region. A delegation from Lunsemfwa is in Zimbabwe for negotiations, which, if successfully concluded would see Zimbabwe importing 50 megawatts from Zambia, Zesa chief executive Engineer Josh Chifamba said.

“This is part of our efforts to boost local supply through importing electricity from other sources in the region and we are negotiating for a power purchase agreement with Lunsemfwa,” Eng Chifamba told The Herald Business, adding that this was critical in terms of supporting Zim-Asset, the country’s economic blueprint.

Lunsemfwa Hydro is the first independent power producer in Zambia. It operates two hydropower plants with a total installed capacity of 56MW. LHPC is currently undertaking feasibility studies and has a strategic plan to increase the installed capacity to 500MW by 2020. LHPC is a subsidiary of Agua Imara, an SN Power Group company.

Eng Chifamba said he was confident negotiations would be concluded by mid next year.

Lunsemfwa Hydro chief executive Mr Katai Kachasa said if the current negotiations were successfully concluded, there was potential to gradually increase electricity supplies to Zimbabwe since it is planning to increase its generation capacity.

“We will soon be embarking on projects to increase our generation capacity,” said Mr Kachasa.

Eng Chifamba said the power purchase agreement would be on a pre-paid basis and Zesa would “continuously move all our customers” to pre-paid electricity meters to generate enough income to meet its import obligations. About 42 percent of Zesa’s income comes from customers on pre-paid meters and plans to grow it to 70 percent in first half of 2016.

“We need to get power challenges out of our way by growing prepaid revenue to 70 percent (of Zesa’s total revenue). This will not only improve revenue inflows, but will also enhance creditworthiness and capacity of the company to reinvest in critical capital projects,” said Eng Chifamba.

He added that Zesa recently reached an agreement with ferrochrome producers to go on prepaid metres. Zesa has also gone on prepaid arrangement for power imports from Mozambique where it is purchasing about 50 megawatts. As such, economic analysts say it was time Zesa grow its prepaid revenue considering that it is also paying for imports in advance.

“Despite increased revenues inflows from domestic customers, it is critical that all customers, domestic and commercial are put on prepaid metres. This will help guarantee imports while at the same time ensure that the company generates enough revenue for its capital projects as well as putting the company in a stronger position to attract debt capital from local, regional and international markets,” said one analyst.

On the back of prepaid income, Eng Chifamba said the power utility has successfully raised substantial money from a regional financial institution against its debtors’ book.

Ntabazinduna to get power station

Ntabazinduna to get power station

 

AN independent power producer, Yellow Africa (Pvt) Ltd, has been awarded an operating licence by Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority (Zera) to establish a 100 megawatt (MW) solar plant in Ntabazinduna, Matabeleland North province.

BY NQOBILE BHEBHE

The proposed plant will generate electricity using solar radiation at Ntabazinduna or Mbembesi communal lands under Umguza Rural District Council.

According to a notice, the licence was issued in May and Yellow Africa could supply power to any distribution network.

“The generation licence is hereby granted to Yellow Africa (Pvt) Ltd (the licensee) in terms of Section 42 of the Act to construct, own, operate and maintain Ntabazinduna Solar Power Station for purposes of generation and supply of electricity,” the regulatory authority said.

“Subject to the Act and the terms and conditions of its licence, the holder of this generation licence may supply to any transmission distribution or supply licensee who purchases electricity for resale and with the approval of the Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority (hereinafter referred to as the Authority) to any one or more consumers.”

The government has over the years licensed scores of independent renewable power producers, some of which were already operational while others were working on starting up.

Three small hydro plants presently operational were Nyamigura (1,1MW), Pungwe A (2,7MW) Duru (2,2MW) and Pungwe B (15MW) in Manicaland province.

The Great Zimbabwe Hydro (5MW), Kupinga Station (1,5MW) in Chipinge, Osborne Dam plant (2,5MW) and Rusitu Plant were set to open soon.

On biomass energy, Tongaat Hullet is operating Triangle Sugar Mill (45MW) and Chiredzi Sugar Mill (33MW).

In the pipeline would be the exploitation of massive gas reserves in Lupane and plans to set up a gas-fired power plant to contribute 300MW to the national grid.

SADC In Energy Crisis

SADC In Energy Crisis

Andrew Kunambura 18 Jun 2015
LEADERS

Some of the SADC head of states

WITH climate change posing one of the major threats to humanity’s shared interests in southern Africa, the region has been plunged into a dilemma as to how it could wiggle out of an impending energy crisis as it seeks to address the global warming phenomenon.
Nations in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) depend on fossil fuels such as oil and coal that are being condemned, globally, for their high pollution levels.
They are also reliant on hydro-electricity, which is under threat from drying rivers as the regional climate gets warmer.
While hydro-electricity is a clean and renewable source of energy, the increasingly irregular rainfall patterns have made river water no longer a sustainable source of energy.
And already feeling the heat are Zambia and Zimbabwe. The two countries share part of the Zambezi River and exclusively own the massive water body, Lake Kariba, which is a critical source of power for the two countries.
The Zambezi River Authority, responsible for the management of the basin from which the two neighbours draw water for hydro-electricity, has been forced to reduce water allocation for electricity generation from 45 billion cubic metres per annum to 33 billion cubic metres due to dwindling supplies as the mighty Zambezi River’s major tributaries, upstream of Kariba, dry up.
The poor inflows have triggered a record drop in the 280km-long lake’s level following a prolonged drought in southern Africa, resulting in a 400 megawatt (MW) plunge in electricity supplies from Kariba Power Station.
Zambia has already cut generation by 300MW and has warned its citizens that this could further go down by as much as 600MW as the Kariba water situation gets worse in the next months.
By August the situation will have worsened when most of Zambezi River’s tributaries run completely dry.
Regional economic powerhouse, South Africa, has not been spared by the power crisis.
Thus, coal and oil, roundly condemned for high carbon emission which is a major catalyst for warming global temperatures, are now the only available alternatives.
With projections of a future global economy likely to consume more energy, especially with the rising energy demand by developing countries, the effects of fossil fuels on climate change is increasingly becoming a major talking point among environmentalists, energy experts and even governments.
Never before has the costs and consequences of climate change become so topical an issue in the underdeveloped world, where the delicate adjustment to the use of cleaner sources of energy, other than hydro-electricity, has never been an issue.
With the developed world fast promoting renewable energy from water, wind, waves, solar and biomass, developing countries, such as those in SADC, are now caught up in a complex energy crisis because they are unable to exploit the new sources of energy.
But many argue that southern Africa is capable of harnessing these clean energy sources and gradually phase out fossils.
What lacks, they say, is political will.
“For the first time in history we face an energy crisis not because we might run out of energy, but because we are using it in the wrong way. Up to now the energy industry was judged by two metrics: Its contribution to energy security and the cost of energy delivered to the consumer. To this we must now add a third: Its success in reducing the emission of ecologically harmful gases, chiefly carbon dioxide, into the atmosphere,” said energy expert Panganai Sithole, director of the Zimbabwe Energy Council.
“We need to address this crisis in two dimensions, demand management of power and ensuring energy efficiency, through a well coordinated energy policy. For example, it has been established that in Zimbabwe, 40 percent of domestic power consumption is by geysers that can be easily replaced by solar water heaters, although mainly rich families can afford it.
“In the energy policy, we can simply make it mandatory that all low density houses should have solar water heaters and help them by removing import duty on the alternative energy sources. It does not take any money for government to implement this. Imagine the amount of power we could save with this policy,” he added, while encouraging the Zimbabwe government to court investments in renewable energy and allow independent power producers the opportunity to easily get into the power production business.
“We are not even harnessing solar as a source of power despite the amount of sun we get. There has been endless talk of a solar power plant in Gwanda but we haven’t seen its progress years after it was launched. Gas, for example, attracts serious investment everywhere in the world. Mozambique is realising the benefit of its investment policies and we are importing supplementary power from there,” Sithole said.
However, other energy experts think differently, arguing that the environmental concerns around power generation were being pushed by rich countries at the expense of developing countries.
Founder of Harare-based energy firm, Energy and Information Logistics, Francis Masawi, noted: “Rich countries complain about it yet they managed to achieve their development using coal and oil and they can now afford the expensive alternative sources.
“True, solar is available but the technology is not sufficient here. We must be allowed to utilise the resources we have and when we have developed to their levels, we can start talking the same language and start thinking about the expensive clean energy they are talking about.”
The great divide among imperative dynamic forces behind climate alleviation is very precarious and threatens the collective global climate action around the world.
And despite what many climate action groups advocate for, energy experts looking at capacities of all technologies seem not to see a realistic possibility for a rapid shift into 100 percent renewable energy any time soon.
They have several scenarios for the future of energy production in light of climate change mitigation, and they all include increasing nuclear power as a renewable energy source, something which has already sharply divided opinion as some feel the answer to climate change is not nuclear power.
There are worries peculiar to uranium such as its radiation problems and its capacity to make nuclear weapons that make it a major source of global conflict.

Zim Faces Unprecedented Power Crisis

Zim Faces Unprecedented Power Crisis
Phillimon Mhlanga 4 Jun 2015
Hwange-Thermal-Power-Plant

Zimbabwe has been experiencing crippling power shortages for a long time now because available generation of about 1 000MW has been unable to meet demand of over 2 000MW.

ZIMBABWE plunged into an unprecedented electricity supply crisis this week after the country’s power supply company intensified load-shedding due to worsening generation capacity, caused in part by a technical fault at Hwange Power Station.
Consequently, the country will endure its darkest winter season in history, as it would be unable to augment domestic electricity supplies with imports.
To worsen matters, ZESA Holdings is already faced with a 400 megawatts (MW) plunge in generation capacity at Kariba Power Station occasioned by the fall in water supplies in Kariba Dam.
The power utility this week warned “customers countrywide” to brace for “an increase in load shedding outside the publicised schedule due to a technical fault at Hwange Power Station”.
Although ZESA, an integrated power generation and distribution company, said it was working to restore generation at the plant, this is not the first time problems have occurred at Hwange Power Station, whose plant is aged and desperate for refurbishment.
A source indicated that supplies would be assured, but not guaranteed, for major referral hospitals, water and sewer installations, national security establishments, airports and broadcasting stations and central business districts.
“The rest of the country will receive power for between seven and 17 hours a day,” the source said.
Even before ZESA’s warning, households and industries have been subjected to load shedding of between three to five hours daily.
The vulnerable and constrained power generation system is, however, likely to lead to extended periods of programmed blackouts triggered by insufficient electricity generation.
But there were fears that unexpected disruptions caused by plant breakdowns due to old age would also worsen during this period.
Two weeks ago, the Financial Gazette reported that water levels in Kariba Dam had dropped to record lows following a prolonged drought in southern Africa.
As a result, electricity supplies from Kariba Power Station, Zimbabwe’s biggest electricity generator, are likely to plunge by 400MW.
Zambia, which shares the same water resource for its electricity production, has already cut generation by 300MW and warned last week that this could further go down by as much as 600MW due to the water situation in Kariba Dam.
The Zambezi River Authority, responsible for the management of water in the Zambezi River basin from which both Zimbabwe and Zambia draw their water for hydroelectricity, has been forced to reduce water allocation for electricity generation from 45 billion cubic metres per annum to 33 billion cubic metres due to dwindling water supplies.
The situation is likely to get worse after this winter season as rivers feeding into the Zambezi River, upstream of Kariba Dam, dry around August or September.
Zimbabwe has been experiencing crippling power shortages for a long time now because available generation of about 1 000MW has been unable to meet demand of over 2 000MW.
Industry players and lobby groups warned the situation would have grave consequences on industry, already grappling with low capacity utilisation due to power shortages, among other problems.
A report by the Chamber of Mines said mines were already “battling with reliability of electricity supply”.
It said power outages caused by faults and load shedding had resulted in a loss of production time by as much as 10 percent.
There was no immediate comment from mining industry executives over the threat of increased power outages, but analysts contend this would be dire.
“Power is one of the many infrastructural utilities which are supposed to play an enabling role in the economy,” said Dephine Mazambani-Mutafera, chief economist at the Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI).
She said the 2014 CZI Manufacturing Sector Survey had highlighted that electricity shortages were on top of five identified constraints to capacity utilisation in industry.
“Power cuts and shortages were recorded as the most problematic infrastructure factors by companies. Eight percent of respondents indicated they had to reduce the number of working hours due to power cuts,” said Mazambani-Mutafera.
“Given the production processes, sometimes it’s difficult to stop a process when it has commenced hence companies have a backup system which can be in the form of a generator. This is an expensive system to maintain compared to electricity.”
But she said they had observed that many companies did not have power supply backup, resulting in increased redundancies and production decline.
“But earnings per worker do not decline as our wages and salaries are not related to productivity. A company will have to incur labour costs regardless of not producing,” she said.
Mazambani-Mutafera said foreign investors were shunning Zimbabwe because of the electricity supply situation.
“Investors look at the assurance that they will have sufficient reliable power supply. So, given the anticipated crisis, we expect few investors to consider Zimbabwe as an investment destination,” she said.
The recovery of the productive sectors, such as manufacturing, agriculture, mining and tourism, which government hopes to underpin revival of the country’s comatose economy, is likely to suffer a huge blow due to the worsening power supply situation, she said.
thers contended that the cost of load shedding on the environment is also too ghastly to contemplate at a time when the country is losing 300 000 hectares of forests to both domestic and industrial users desperate for power.
Unstable power supplies are causing companies to incur heavy losses as some processes are interrupted thereby affecting the quality of products.
Some processes are also delayed or aborted resulting in failure to meet deadlines and targets for many companies.
The situation is invariably scuttling away potential investors.
The prevailing electricity shortages will see the country revising downwards its projected 3,2 percent economic growth and more of the suffering industries will shut down units, exacerbating the already unstable unemployment situation. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Thumbs-up for Mutirikwi mini-hydro power plant

Thumbs-up for Mutirikwi mini-hydro power plant

George Maponga Masvingo Bureau
Work on a $13,5 million mini-hydro power plant on Lake Mutirikwi Dam is set to begin soon after Masvingo Rural District Council gave the green light.

Great Zimbabwe Hydro Power Company – a joint venture between a Zimbabwean firm ZOL and New Planet of South Africa -recently got permission from the Masvingo RDC to go ahead with the project that will generate five megawatts upon completion.

Masvingo RDC acting chief executive Mr Martin Mubviro last week said they were jointly managing the power generation project with the Zimbabwe National Water Authority (Zinwa).

Mr Mubviro said his council passed a resolution giving Great Zimbabwe Power Company permission to start work on the power plant.

“Zinwa will deal with the remaining issues that need to be sorted out before work on the plant can begin because we recently established that the land where the investors want to build their plant belongs to the water regulatory authority,’’ he said.

“As Masvingo RDC, we finished our part when we gave Great Zimbabwe Power Company permission to start work and we hope the project will kick off soon once the investors have reached an agreement with Zinwa.

Great Zimbabwe Power Company initially applied to the Masvingo RDC for one hectare of land at Lake Mutirikwi to build their power plant, but the firm has since been directed to forward the application to Zinwa, which owns the land.

Power produced at the plant will be fed into the national grid and is expected to ease electricity shortages in Masvi- ngo.

The project will be done in phases and will take up to two years to complete.

This will be the second plant in Masvingo, with a similar project being planned at Tokwe-Mukosi Dam in Chivi South to generate about 15 megawatts.

Reprieve for wheat farmers

Reprieve for wheat farmers

 

Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company (ZETDC) will give additional support to wheat farmers this winter to ensure a successful season, the power utility has said.

BY SILENCE CHARUMBIRA

ZETDC said it would channel additional support to the farmers and a number of other key institutions like hospitals, national security establishments, airports and broadcasting stations and major central business districts.

“In addition, winter wheat irrigation will receive additional support in the 2015 season in order to ensure the success of the crop,” said the power utility in a statement on Thursday.

Farmers yesterday welcomed the move saying they had engaged the power utility last season and it delivered.

Zimbabwe Commercial Farmers’ Union president Wonder Chabikwa said there were challenges at the beginning of May but the problems at Hwange had since been rectified.

“We clustered our wheat farming areas and came up with a plan to have four days of uninterrupted supply per week. Last year they agreed to our request and we are confident they will do the same this year,” said Chabikwa.

He said planting was underway and indications from millers were that they needed up to 90 000 metric tonnes of the grain this season.
Farmer Godfrey Chingwe said GMB should increase the producer price of wheat to at least $580 per tonne to ensure viability.

“It will help us to pay for our overheads and acquire inputs for the following season. The other issue is it is important that the GMB pays farmers on time to ensure viability.

That way we will not have to wait to produce more crops as the finances will be readily available,” he said.

Winter power demand triggers increased outages

Winter power demand triggers increased outages

SAMUEL UNDENGE

SAMUEL UNDENGE

Business Reporter
|
THE Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company (ZETDC) has warned consumers of increased power cuts of up to nine hours twice per day during the winter season after demand for electricity rose to 1,800 MW against average output of 1,300MW.The power utility has crafted a schedule in which consumers countrywide will be put under load shedding at morning peak (5AM to 1PM) and evening peak (1PM to 10PM).

It, however, gave reprieve to essential services that include major referral hospitals, water and sewer installations, national security establishments, major airports and broadcasting stations and central business districts.

In the load shedding schedule issued yesterday, ZETDC pledged additional support to winter wheat irrigation for the 2015 season.

Zimbabwe’s seasonal peak power demand occurs during the winter months of June and July with the power utility saying it expects maximum demand to average 1,800MW.

ZETDC would not rule out interruption of supplies due to suppressed generation capacity by local plants and general deficit in the entire region.

“To this end, Zesa is putting in place measures to boost power generation and reduce consumption in order to minimise load shedding. All non-essential loads and appliances should be switched off at all times. Non-essential lights and office equipment should be switched off overnight. Accordingly load shedding will be carried out . . . consumers are being called upon to play their part in reducing demand by using the available power sparingly,” said ZETDC.

As of Thursday, Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) was producing 1,301MW, with the hydroelectric Kariba Power Station generating 662MW against an installed capacity of 750MW while Hwange thermal power station was producing 546MW against installed capacity of 920MW.

The utility’s small thermal power stations — Bulawayo, Harare and Munyati — are producing 35MW, 30MW and 28MW, respectively, against installed capacity of 75MW, 90MW and 100MW.

Zimbabwe also imports power from Hydro Caborra Bassa of Mozambique but supply remains too low to meet demand.

Of late, winter wheat farming has been hampered by intermittent and expensive power supplies to the farms and lack of subsidies from government to support wheat farming.

The Zimbabwe Commercial Farmers’ Union president, Wonder Chabikwa, said due to lack of subsidies on electricity for winter wheat farming, the farmers were paying 0,166 cents per kilowatt hour, a figure that he said was uncompetitive compared to 0,004 cents per Kw/h paid by consumers in other countries in the region such as Zambia.

Zimbabwe, which requires between 200,000 tonnes and 350,000 tonnes of wheat annually has of late been forced to import the crop due to low production.

New Hwange power plant takes shape

New Hwange power plant takes shape

 

INDEPENDENT power producer, Co-Ash Resources, is undertaking an environment assessment in Matabeleland North Province ahead of the construction of a thermal power plant in Hwange.

BY NQOBANI NDLOVU

Co-Ash Resources plans to set up a 250-megawatt (MW) waste coal-fired thermal plant that will have a double role of cleaning up the environment as well as supplying electricity.

The independent power producer said the 250MW integrated gasification combined cycle (IGCC) will be expanded to one gigawatt (GW) in 10 years.

An IGCC is a technology that uses a gasifier to turn coal and other carbon-based fuels into electricity.

“The main objective of the project is to construct a combined cycle environmentally friendly, highly efficient advanced plasma- fired thermal power plant that will supply significant amount of power to Zimbabwe utilising waste coal fires that have been and are a continuous environmental hazard in the coal mining operations in the Hwange district,” a notice of the environmental and social impact assessment read in part.

“The project, however, falls in volume six of the Environmental Impact Assessment guidelines of Zimbabwe. Volume six covers all projects relating to the energy sector in which the thermal power plant falls.

“In compliance with the Environmental Management Act (Chapter 20:27), Co-Ash resources is required to prepare an environmental and social impact assessment report for the said project.”

The country faces electricity shortages as Zesa Holdings is currently generating just over 1 000MW of the 2 200MW national requirement, resulting in incessant power cuts.

Although Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority has licensed over 15 independent power producers, very few have implemented projects that are actually feeding into the electricity national grid to eliminate energy shortages.

Zambia cuts power as dam level drops

Zambia cuts power as dam level drops

May 28, 2015 Business

AFRICA’S second-biggest copper producer Zambia has cut its power generation by 300MW after water levels in the Kariba Dam, a key source of hydropower, dropped following a prolonged drought, its deputy minister of energy said on Tuesday.Charles Zulu said Zambia planned to reduce its hydropower generation by up to 600MW if water levels continued dropping.

“Our generation capacity is 2,200MW but now we’ve reduced to 1,900 MW,” Zulu said.

More Insight Zambia power firm CEC says restores power supply to mines Kariba dam rehabilitation project, Zambia $294 million package announced to rescue Kariba dam from possible collapse.

“There’ll be massive load-shedding (power rationing) and all of us, including the mines, will be affected,” he told Reuters.

A scorching drought has hit crop harvests across southern Africa, hitting economic growth and threatening to push food prices and inflation higher. — Reuters.

 

Minister Undenge explains power cuts

Minister Undenge explains power cuts

by Debra Matabvu Sunday, May 24, 2015 | 699 views
 
 

Electricity cuts affecting many parts of Zimbabwe are being caused by technical faults in power generation plants across the Southern Africa region, Energy and Power Development Minister Dr Samuel Undenge has explained.

 

Dr Undenge told The Sunday Mail that due to its central geographical location, Zimbabwe was the hardest hit since the electricity interruptions were emanating from Zambia, Mozambique and South Africa.

“Our grid system is connected . . . in other words we are connected to Zambia, Malawi, South Africa, Botswana and all the electricity traffic passes through Zimbabwe because we are at the centre.

“Our six units at Kariba and four units at Hwange power station were down and this emanated from the Zambia’s Copperbelt. They had a loss of 600MW.

“So, if there is a severe power loss like the one that happened in Zambia, this will automatically affect power distribution in Zimbabwe. The recent one that happened a week ago, again the source was external; it originated from Mozambique. There was a fault at Hydro Carbora Bassa; there was a loss of load, resulting in an automatic shut down.

“Zimbabwe also encountered two power systems disturbances from South Africa and it resulted disconnection of the rest of our network save for Bulawayo Metropolitan province.

“Electricity generation at Hwange Power Station has been restored and as at today, (Friday) 397MW are generated from four units with the other remaining two units expected to be back soon.”

National energy demand stands at about 2 200MW during peak hours against installed generation capacity of 1 400MW.

Out of 1 400MW, Zesa exports 224MW to NamPower and Snel, the power utilities of Namibia and the DRC, respectively.

Like any other Sadc country, Zimbabwe is experiencing severe power shortages due to increased demand against depressed electricity generation.

Zesa’s power generation plants —Hwange, Kariba, Harare, Munyati and Bulawayo – are constantly breaking down because the equipment has outlived its lifespan.

However, load-shedding is higher in winter owing to increased electricity demand as consumers turn to gadgets such as heaters and geysers.

With biogas,nothing goes to waste

With biogas,nothing goes to waste

INSIDE the Zimbabwe Domestic Biogas Programme (ZDBP) information trailer, the flame on the biogas stove suddenly flares and flickers as if blown by the wind. The mobile information trailer, designed to resemble a kitchen, is connected to a biogas digester built underground, which converts cow dung into biogas that can be used for cooking, heating and lighting.

 

BY MASIMBA BIRIWASHA

Upon seeing the dancing flames, Sibongile Mandarira (35), a teacher based in Masvingo, lights up.

“Until today, I had only read about biogas technology, but this experience is a real eye opener. I saw how it actually works. I’ve already made my mind up to install a digester at my rural home because it is smart,” she said, the brightness of her eyes betraying her curiosity.

“I will use biogas for breeding chickens and lighting chicken runs. I will also use it for cooking and refrigeration.”

Mandarira said that prior to visiting the information trailer, which was stationed at the Rural Electrification Agency (REA) exhibition stand at the recently-ended Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF) she did not know much about biogas technology. Despite that biogas has great potential to increase access to clean, reliable and affordable energy in Zimbabwe, particularly in rural areas, the technology remains novel to many people.

Against this background, the domestic biogas programme, a five-year initiative involving the Ministry of Energy and Power Development, Ministry of Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development, Rural Electrification Agency, Netherlands Development Organisation (SNV) and Humanist Institute for Co-operation (Hivos) is employing the information trailer to demonstrate the efficiency of biogas in order to encourage uptake of the technology.

“Biogas is a very technical concept. Many people are not familiar with it despite its immense potential to provide energy for cooking, heating and lighting at domestic level. Merely talking about biogas without demonstrating how it works is not effective in encouraging people to take up the technology,” SNV’s renewable energy advisor Chandi Mutubuki-Makuyana, said.
The domestic biogas programme is aimed at increasing access to sustainable, clean and reliable energy sources for domestic households and establishing a vibrant biogas sector that will benefit more than
67 000 households.
The project follows a market-driven approach in promoting the dissemination of biogas technology.
Biogas is a gas mixture that is predominantly made up of methane and carbon dioxide. It is created as a by-product when organic material decomposes in airless conditions. When the decomposition process occurs in an enclosed environment, it can be captured and used as a natural fuel source. The slurry left over from this process is an excellent organic fertiliser.

The use of biogas can be especially beneficial in rural areas, where there is no access to any other energy source and deforestation and indoor pollution are an issue. For people in rural areas, biogas is a much cleaner and environmentally-friendly alternative fuel source.

It burns with minimal carbon dioxide output and uses products that are readily available.

Potential environmental benefits include reduction of local pollutants, reduced deforestation due to logging for fuel and increased sequestration of carbon in soils.

With a minimum of five cows, it is possible to generate enough cow dung to feed a small sized digester. It costs approximately between $800 and $2 000 to construct a biogas digester.

“People are not so much interested in the digester itself in as much as what the gas can do. What the gas does is what excites people. We want to show people that with biogas nothing goes to waste. You get the gas from waste and you get slurry which is equivalent to Compound D fertiliser,” Mutubuki-Makuyana said.

A basic biogas digester consists of a tank in which the organic material is digested, combined with a system to collect and store the biogas produced.

The slurry of dung and water ferments in the tank and the pressure of the biogas produced pushes the slurry out of one end.
The gas is piped from the top of the tank to a biogas cooking stove and biogas lights.

“Biogas changes people’s lives. Our outreach with the information trailer has been good because we are not talking about biogas theoretically. Most people cannot visualise it if you just tell them, but with the trailer we are conducting demonstrations. We hope to take the trailer from district to district and show people the advantages of biogas,” Mutubuki-Makuyana, adding that they would target households with cattle said.

According to Hivos Southern Africa Hub’s energy programme manager Soneni Ncube, the purpose of the information trailer is to inform the public about biogas as a cheap and modern form of energy.

“Biogas is clean, it produces no smoke, it is healthy and reduces the drudgery of labour faced by women and girls in looking for firewood. One can produce it from their own livestock and the slurry that comes out after manure is digested to produce biogas is a good fertiliser and is even better than raw manure,” Ncube said.

“Once people learn and see what they can do with biogas, it is hoped that this will increase the adoption rate of this form of energy as an alternative energy source for rural and peri-urban households instead of wood, thus reducing deforestation and reduction of carbon emissions into the atmosphere. This way it reduces the effects of climate change.”

Hwange resumes power generation

Hwange resumes power generation

Business Reporter
HWANGE Thermal Power Station is back on line after a weeklong shutdown due to a technical glitch that saw the country’s total power output drop to 801MW from about 1,200MW.

According to the Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC)’s power generation report yesterday, Hwange was generating 294MW from zero in the last few days.

The station is the largest power plant in the country with a generation capacity of 920 megawatts followed by Kariba Hydro Power Station at 750 megawatts.

The ZPC report indicated that total power output had increased to 1,081MW with Kariba generating 717MW.

Small thermal stations — Bulawayo, Harare and Munyati — were producing 24MW, 30MW and 16MW respectively.

The temporary shutdown at Hwange had worsened power outages and crippled operations in productive sectors of the economy.

Zimbabwe has an average national demand of 2,200 megawatts that it cannot meet due to obsolete equipment at its five existing power stations.

ZPC says repair works are being undertaken on the steam pipe hangers, turbine thrust pads as well as other opportunistic maintenance jobs.

The government has embarked on massive power generation projects that will see the country generate more than 3,500 megawatts in the next five to six years.

Hwange shutdown to worsen power outages

Hwange shutdown to worsen power outages

hwange-power-station2Oliver Kazunga Senior Business Reporter
POWER generation at the Hwange Thermal Station has ground to halt due to a technical glitch resulting in the country’s electricity generation going down to 801 megawatts from about 1,200 megawatts.

Hwange Thermal is the largest power plant in the country with a generation capacity of 920 megawatts followed by Kariba Hydro Power Station at 750 megawatts.

The temporary shutdown at Hwange is set to worsen power outages and cripple operations in productive sectors of the economy.

Zimbabwe has an average national demand of 2,200 megawatts that it cannot meet due to obsolete equipment at its five existing power stations.

As at April 27, Bulawayo and Munyati Thermal Power Stations were producing 24 megawatts each while Harare Thermal Power Station and Kariba Hydro Power Station produced 30 megawatts and 723 megawatts respectively.

According to the Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC), the giant power plant has been shut down following the loss of a T1A transformer after backup protection.

“This led to loss of auxiliary supplies on units 2 and 3 that were in service and subsequently took them out. Unit 1 was taken out of service on April 23 at 19.59HRS following a fire incident on BC2 burner. Inspections are in progress to identify damaged cables,” said ZPC in its daily power update.

“Unit 4 was taken out of service on April 25 at 17.08HRS due to LP front shaft vibrations and boiler tube leaks. Works are still in progress.”

The power utility said unit 5 had been down due to poor vacuum since February 5, 2015 at 12.31HRS and “on attempting to return to service, it developed governor challenges”.

Repair works were being undertaken on the steam pipe hangers, turbine thrust pads as well as other opportunistic maintenance jobs, it said adding, unit 6 was taken out of service on April 24 due to a boiler tube leak.

“Works have been completed and preparations to bring the unit back . . . are in progress,” said ZPC.

The thermal power stations — Harare, Bulawayo and Munyati are currently producing 30MW 24MW and 24MW respectively. This is against installed capacity of 75MW, 90MW and 100MW.

ZPC director Noah Gwariro has said power generation at Harare Power Station will double from 30MW to 60MW by the end of this month on expected completion of repairs to one of its turbo alternators.

Last year, the government contracted Sino-Hydro to build two units at the country’s largest power plant at a cost of $1.5 billion.

The project will add 600MW onto the national grid.

The expansion project at Hwange is expected to be completed in 42 months from commencement date, according to the contractor.

Under the deal, ZPC will get $1.17 billion or 80 percent of the funds for the plant through concessionary funding from China Exim Bank while the same institution will provide the balance at commercial rates.

he government has embarked on massive power generation projects that will see the country generate more than 3,500MW in the next five to six years.

The 300MW Kariba South expansion is already underway at a cost of more than $500 million to be completed in 2018.

Some of the projects in the pipeline include the 600MW power plant to be constructed by China Africa Sunlight Energy in the Gwayi area of Lupane, the 800MW Batoka Gorge hydro power project as well as renewable projects in solar and gas.

Power back on after massive blackout

Power back on after massive blackout

ZIMBABWE Electricity Distribution and Transmission Company (ZETDC) yesterday said it has managed to rectify the problems that caused a massive blackout in the country on Monday.

 

BY VICTORIA MTOMBA

In an interview yesterday, ZETDC managing director Julian Chinembiri said the blackout was due to problems on the national grid which is interconnected with Zambia.

Chinembiri said the country had shed off 400 megawatts (MW) due to the blackout and as of yesterday, power stood at 1 015MW.
He said Munyati Power Station was back up and Hydro Cahora Bassa was providing 80MW out of the 100MW, adding that the third unit at Hwange was expected to be up by end of day yesterday.

“We started working flat out on Monday evening. Kariba is now running and two units out of the six are running in Hwange. Both Harare and Bulawayo power stations are working and producing 30MW and 22MW, respectively,” he said.

Chinembiri said Cahora Bassa was affected due to high voltage, but was now working. Hwange and Kariba were affected on Monday due to the problems on the national grid.

Chinembiri said Zambia experienced problems on the left Copperbelt and one of the units had been affected.
It pushed the problems to the Zimbabwe side’s network.

As of last Friday, power output stood at 1 153MW.

Most parts of the country were plunged into darkness due to the blackout.

The country is working on various energy projects that require close to $5 billion and have a potential to produce 3 500MW in the next five to six years.

The country has not been investing in power generation since Independence and is in the process of investing in the sector.
Most businesses in the country have been affected by the power shortages and have put in place standby generators to use when there are power challenges.

Zimbabwe, like other countries in the region, is facing power challenges due to the high demand for electricity.
The country introduced the rural electrification programme which has increased the demand of electricity on the national grid.

Loadshedding hits tobacco workers

Loadshedding hits tobacco workers

Abigail Mawonde Harare Bureau
LOADSHEDDING has hit employees in the tobacco industry amid revelations that Tobacco Processors Zimbabwe is deducting hours lost during power outages from workers’ salaries.At times TPZ sends workers home up to a time when electricity is restored.

The company has gone as far as incorporating the deductions in the workers’ contracts of employment, torching off a storm with the employees.

The Zimbabwe Tobacco Industry Workers Union national organising secretary Emson Sibanda wrote to the chairman of the Tobacco Miscellaneous Employees Association (TMEA), Terrence Kwaramba on Monday, raising concern over what he termed unfair labour practices by TPZ.

“We write in connection with the above matter whose unfolding is disgusting as it has very bad impact to the National Employment Council graded employees who have been sent home by TPZ management on occasional loadshedding by Zesa, meaning to say except for staff employees all NEC employees will not be paid as from about 10 o’clock in the morning of April 27, 2015.

“Section 4 of Statutory Instrument 85 of 1993 sub clause (7) prohibits the actions of your member TPZ who has sent workers back home without pay and benefits,” read the letter.

Sibanda said his union was also unhappy over the decision by TPZ to amend workers’ contracts to include a section on disruptions like loadshedding.

The new clause 2 in TPZ’s workers’ contracts now reads: “You shall be required to work 45 hours a week and a maximum of 195 hours per month. You shall only be remunerated based on the actual hours you have worked during the month or any part thereof. This means that if the work schedule is stopped, interrupted or affected by such processes over which the company has no control, like loadshedding by Zesa, among other things, then no remuneration shall be paid in respect of the time or period affected by those stoppages or interruptions. If you are in a prescribed occupational category in terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreements which cover the company, your hours of work may vary from those mentioned above.”

Yesterday Kwaramba confirmed receiving communication from Sibanda over the matter.

“I can confirm receiving their letter but I haven’t managed to talk to their human resources manager as yet.  It’s difficult for me to act on it as I’m a human resources manager for another company which happens to be their competitor,” he said.

“I’m not formally entitled to be dealing with their human resources issues unless it is issues to do with trade unions and collective bargaining which affects the industry as a whole.”

TPZ human resources manager Samson Mugumisi yesterday confirmed the development.

“Do you know the extent of the problem we’re facing? Right now we’ve gone for three days without Zesa (electricity). We haven’t had Zesa since Monday. That arrangement isn’t new. We put that provision (in the contract) to safeguard ourselves.

“You send people away, when Zesa comes back you call them back. We’re being practical about the situation,” he said.

Mugumisi urged unions to engage management at TPZ instead of rushing to the press.

Hwange power station shut down, power cuts to worsen

Hwange power station shut down, power cuts to worsen

 

BULAWAYO – Zimbabwe’s electricity generation has fallen to 801 megawatts (MW), less than half of peak demand, after a systems disturbance shut down Hwange Thermal Power and maintenance works at other plants with power outages likely to worsen, the company Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) has said.

Zimbabwe experienced a countrywide blackout on Monday due to problems on the national grid and power utility said in a statement that Hwange was shutdown the same day following the loss of a transformer.

The plant has an installed capacity of producing 920MW.

ZPC said as of 27 April 2015, it was producing 801MW against a national demand of 2,200MW.

“(The) station (was) shutdown following loss of TIA transformer after back up protection operated. This led to the loss of auxiliary supplies on Unit 2 and 3 that were in service,” said the company in a power generation update.

It said Unit 1 was taken out of service following a fire incident on BC2 burner and inspectors were in progress to identify damaged cables. Unit 4 was taken out of service due to LP front shaft vibrations and boiler tube leaks while Unit 5 tripped due to poor vacuum on February 5.

“On attempting to return to service, it developed governor challenges. Repair works are going to be carried out on the steam pipe hangers, turbine thrust pads as well as other opportunities maintenance jobs,” ZPC said.

The unit, which produces 150MW, is expected to be back in operation on Thursday.

“Unit 6 was taken out of service on 24 April, 2015 at 2227hrs due to a boiler tube leak. Works have been completed and preparations to bring the unit back are in progress.”

At Harare thermal station, station 2 was also taken out of service on August last year

Kariba Power Station is generating 723MW against an installed capacity of 750MW.

Harare, Bulawayo and Manyati stations were producing a combined electricity capacity of 78MW.

The thermal power stations – Harare, Bulawayo and Munyati are currently producing 30MW 24MW and 24MW respectively. This is against installed capacity of 75MW, 90MW and 100MW.

ZPC director Noah Gwariro said power generation at Harare Power Station will double from 30 Megawatts to 60 MW by the end of this month on expected completion of the repairs to one of its turbo alternators. – The Source

Hwange thermal station expansion on course

Hwange thermal station expansion on course

Leonard Ncube Victoria Falls Reporter
WORK on the expansion of Hwange Thermal Power Station’s units 7 and 8 is ready to take off with the government finalising talks on the funding deal with a Chinese firm.

Early this year the Zimbabwe Energy regulatory Authority (Zera) granted the Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) a licence paving way for the commencement of the $1,5 billion 600MW project.

The tender for the project was last year awarded to a Chinese company, Sino-Hydro, which is also servicing the 300MW Kariba South Hydro-Power Station expansion project.

Energy and Power Development Minister Samuel Undenge told Chronicle Business on Friday that the government was almost done with the financial closure and the process was in its final stage.

“As you know the project was awarded to Sino-Hydro and at the moment we’re doing a financial closure on the package. All I can say is that we’re almost there,” he said.

The minister could not be drawn into giving timelines on when the process would actually be concluded and commencement dates.

The expansion project is expected to begin during the fourth quarter of this year or early next year. It is set to be completed within 42 months from commencement, according to the contractor.

Undenge said each of the two units would add 300MW to the national grid.

The contract to expand the power plant was initially given to China Machinery Engineering Company, but was cancelled after the firm failed to show capacity to raise the money.

A team of experts from ZPC visited China in September last year to conduct due diligence on the capacity of Sino-Hydro to build thermal power plants.

ZPC visited two of three thermal power stations Sino-Hydro has constructed in China under partnerships with local authorities.

Sino-Hydro owns 70 percent of the power stations in that country.

One of the power stations visited has capacity to produce 620MWx2 while the second, with a design capacity for 3,000MW, has only phase one completed and is producing 750MW.

Zesa mulls 6pc tariff increase to cover salary arrears

Zesa mulls 6pc tariff increase to cover salary arrears

 

Felex Share Herald Reporter
Zesa Holdings has said it will have to raise electricity tariffs by six percent to cater for salary arrears amounting to $117 million arising from a gazetted 2012 collective bargaining agreement which management ignored.

The power utility conceded bungling by not honouring the collective bargaining, but is arguing that abiding by the award will result in the payroll shooting by $5,6 million per month, a figure that can only be raised through increasing tariffs.

The arbitrary award, which would have a heavy bearing on electricity consumers, was granted by retired Supreme Court judge Justice Ahmed Ebrahim and Professor Emmanuel Magade.

ALSO SEE

Zesa Holdings is now offering the workers $21 million spread over four months, arguing that their demands were “unrealistic.”

Instead of paying the collective bargaining award when it was still affordable, the Zesa management for the past three years unsuccessfully contested the result which came out as a result of Statutory Instrument 50 of 2012.

Now, the figure has ballooned and has to be backdated.

The dispute is also likely to cost Zesa another $5 million in tax liabilities, according to calculations by the Ministry of Energy and Power Development.

Zesa head of finance Mr Eliab Chikwenhere said the firm was in a “parlous financial situation” and its liabilities exceeded the assets.

He said in any case, Zesa needed to raise tariffs to meet its obligations.

Responding to the ruling yesterday, a Zesa senior executive said any compliance with the award meant an increase in tariffs.

He said the firm was prepared to part with only $21 million to avoid increasing tariffs and burdening consumers.

“The demands by the workers are unrealistic, but we have come up with a concessionary figure which reflects what the business can pay,” said the senior executive.

“We admit we signed an agreement and we have to comply, but as a gesture of goodwill this is what we can afford. First and foremost, before any considerations, Zesa should be able to generate electricity and that is why we have $21 million as our maximum figure.”

Added the senior executive from Zesa: “Implementing the award will require a six percent tariff increase to meet the $5,6 million additional figure per month of the current payroll. This will burden the already overburdened consumer as well as impacting negatively on service delivery.”

The collective bargaining agreement provided for Zesa to effect a minimum increment of $275 and 12 percent grade differentials, 2,5 percent step (notch) differentials, non-pensionable allowance (30 percent of basic salary), $70 transport allowance and $23 canteen allowance (grade 1 to D2) with effect from January 2012.

In their ruling, Justice Ebrahim and Professor Magade said the power utility should honour the collective bargaining agreement and conduct a re-grading exercise.

They said Zesa should start paying employees according to qualification and seniority.

“The claimants should comply with the National Employment Council salary scales arising from the 2102 CBA,” reads the ruling.

“The claimants should, consequently, conduct a re-grading exercise so that all their employees are placed in their correct grades in the NEC salaries scales, according to each employee’s qualifications, date of entry into service and any other relevant factors, irrespective of the grade such employee currently occupies under the Zesa scales.

“This exercise should be back-dated until the date on which SI 50 of 2012 came into effect and any salaries and benefits should be calculated from that date, and should be completed within six months of the date of this award. Any back-payment should be paid within that period.”

No employee, the ruling stated, should, as a result of the re-grading exercise, receive salary or benefits lower than he or she currently received.

The arbitrators, while acknowledging Zesa was “not fully delivering what it ought to”, said it had created legitimate expectations among the workers and should honour that.

Reads the ruling: “Whilst it is true that public policy dictates that an award which has the effect of driving the employer into insolvency should not be made, it is equally true that where an employer has entered into an agreement with his employees he creates legitimate expectations amongst the workers. Public policy becomes something of an unruly horse which gallops in multiple directions.”

According to the Ministry of Energy and Power Development, the least worker is owed $1 628, while the highest paid (skilled) worker should get about $2 418.

But workers, through the Zimbabwe Energy Workers Union, claim the liabilities to be $5 607 and $37 102, respectively.

The power utility has more than 7 000 workers countrywide.

No tariff increase – Zesa

No tariff increase – Zesa

ZESA Holdings says it will not increase tariffs to cover salary arrears, dismissing earlier media reports of an imminent increase as incorrect.

BATANAI MUTASA
OWN CORRESPONDENT

In a statement yesterday, Zesa Holdings said it was not mulling an increase in electricity tariffs by 6%. “Electricity tariffs charged by Zesa are approved by the Zimbabwe Electricity Regulatory Authority and no such application has been tendered.”

A local media group had reported that the power utility indicated it would have to increase tariffs to cater for salary arrears of $117 million arising from a gazetted collective bargaining agreement which the company ignored.

However, in yesterday’s statement, Zesa said it had reached a deadlock with the unions in the 2012 collective bargaining exercise after which the matter was referred for arbitration.

The standoff over salaries between Zesa Holdings and its employees dates back to 2012 when the company allegedly refused to offer its employees’ wages based on Statutory Instrument 50/12 which was a result of collective bargaining between the power utility firm and the Zimbabwe Energy Workers’ Union and the National Energy Workers’ Union of Zimbabwe.

The Statutory Instrument sanctioned a basic salary of $275 per month for the least paid worker in the energy industry.

“The outcome of the award was such that Zesa could not afford to implement the award without posing a serious threat to the going concern of the business,” reads the statement.

It said industry norms in the electricity sector dictated that staff costs would not exceed 30% of revenue in the interests of better service delivery.

Zesa to increase power cuts

Zesa to increase power cuts

ZESA Holdings has warned consumers to brace for increased load-shedding outside the publicised schedules, citing a technical fault at Hwange Power Station as the reason.

PRIVILEGE SHOKO
OWN CORRESPONDENT

The power utility yesterday issued a statement warning consumers that they would be updated accordingly during the restoration process.

“Zesa Holdings would like to advise its customers countrywide that there will be an increase in load-shedding outside the publicised schedule due to a technical fault at Hwange Power Station,” reads the statement.

“Currently, there are two units generating at Hwange Power Station and customers will experience suppressed power supply until generation is restored to normal levels.”

Hwange power station is the biggest thermal power plant in Zimbabwe, with an installed capacity of 920 megawatts (MW) and consists of four units of 120MW each and two units of 220MW.

Zesa said engineers and technicians were working on restoring the generation to normal levels.

“Zesa Holdings sincerely apologises to its valued customers for the inconvenience caused,” reads the statement.

Zesa has recently blamed heavy rains that hit the country for the latest spate of power outages, saying it has experienced a number of faults due to inclement weather.

Zimbabweans have been subjected to load-shedding for years and economists say this has affected the industry, as most companies have had to cut short their operating hours.

The intermittent power cuts have also affected plant and machinery, some of which need constant power supplies.

Many households occasionally endure long hours of up to 12 hours without electricity, exceeding the normal load-shedding schedule, despite Zesa installing pre-paid meters in most households to help it manage demand and customer indebtedness.

Zim’s daily power generation drops

Zim’s daily power generation drops

Zimbabwe’s daily power generation has dropped to below 1 200 MW from about 1 400 MW that was being generated in recent months, statistics from the Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) show.

Zimbabwe is currently facing power shortages as national power demand at peak periods is estimated at 2 200MW.

Present generation capacity is far outweighed by demand, resulting in the shortfall being imported from regional power utilities.

According to the statistics as at 0730 hours on Friday, ZPC was generating 1 152 MW only.

Hwange Thermal Power Station sent out 547 MW and Kariba Hydro-Power Station 521 MW. The smaller thermal power stations Harare, Munyati and Bulawayo were generating 30 MW, 28 MW and 26 MW respectively.

ZPC said Unit 4 at Hwange which was taken out of service late last year for major overhaul works was contributing to some of the generation constraints being experienced.

“The revised return to service date (of Unit 4) is now 23 March 2013,” it said.

Meanwhile, ZPC managing director Noah Gwariro said ZPC was still working on securing funding for the re-powering of Bulawayo power station.

ZPC applied to the Indian government for funding of the Bulawayo project.

“Funding for this project is not restricted to the Indian Government only.

“We will accept other investors that are willing to partner with in the re-powering exercise,” he said.

The re-powering project for Bulawayo power station will take two years to complete, he said.

ZPC is targeting to produce over 9 799.06 GigaWatt-hours of electricity during 2015.

Due to the power deficit government, through ZPC, has embarked on several projects to increase power output through expanding existing power stations and building new ones.

For example, work is in progress to expand Kariba Power Station by an additional two units which will add a combined 300 megawatts to the national grid on completion in 2018.

Plans are also in place to add two units at Hwange Power Station which would have a combined generation capacity of 600 megawatts.

Zimbabwe is also working with the Zambian government to build the Batoka gorge power station which is expected to generate 1 600MW of electricity to be shared equally by the two countries. — New Ziana

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