Commercial Farmers Union of Zimbabwe

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100MW boost for Zim national grid

100MW boost for Zim national grid
Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet Dr Misheck Sibanda chats with Economic Planning and Investment Promotion Permanent Secretary Dr Desire Sibanda during a tour of Dema Emergency Generation Power Plant in Seke yesterday. — (Picture by Munyaradzi Chamalimba)

Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet Dr Misheck Sibanda chats with Economic Planning and Investment Promotion Permanent Secretary Dr Desire Sibanda during a tour of Dema Emergency Generation Power Plant in Seke yesterday. — (Picture by Munyaradzi Chamalimba)

Felex Share Senior Reporter
Zimbabwe will add 100 megawatts to its national grid by June 21 with the coming on stream of the Dema emergency power plant as initiatives put in place by Government to alleviate power shortages start bearing fruit.

This came out during a “monitoring tour” of the Dema project by Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet Dr Misheck Sibanda, his deputies and permanent secretaries from various ministries yesterday.

All the 200MW from the emergency plant are expected to be on line by July 10.

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The Office of the President and Cabinet has upped tempo in supervising major projects that are key in driving the Government’s economic blueprint, Zim-Asset.

Cabinet granted Zesa Holdings the nod to go the route of emergency power as a stopgap measure after the country experienced acute load-shedding in the fourth quarter of last year.

The outages saw residents going for up to 18 hours without electricity due to declining water levels at Kariba Dam.

Sakunda Holdings won the Dema contract and is leasing generators from Aggreko, the world’s leading temporary power generation company.

Dr Sibanda said the visit was meant to ensure “on-spot management” of the project following the arrival of key equipment at the site.

“We have come to inspect this project which is a Government-approved project,” said Dr Sibanda.

“In the wisdom of Cabinet, it was decided that we should move towards emergency power generation to augment the scarce power generation we have in the country. We are implementing Zim-Asset and we want to see our economy grow and catch up with others. Power is very critical to this kind of economic growth we are envisaging,” he said.

A number of countries have taken the route of emergency power, though it is expensive.

Added Dr Sibanda: “It is the intention of our office as the office mandated to monitor major projects under Zim-Asset that we do on-the-spot management and monitor implementation of the projects.

“Henceforth, we will be inspecting most of the major projects in the country.

“We call upon those given the opportunities to do your part so that together we grow our economy. We promise to come back shortly before the 21st (of June) to ensure you are ready for commissioning.”

Government is working on various projects, chief among them expansion of Kariba South Power Station (300MW) and Hwange Units 7 and 8 to (600 MW).

While the big projects materialise, the Dema project will be implemented and complemented by another 120MW that should come from the Mutare Peaking Power Plant.

The plant is also one of the priority projects targeted under Zim-Asset and the contractor, Helcraw Electrical (Pvt) Ltd, is already on the ground.

Sakunda Holdings founder and chief executive Mr Kudakwashe Tagwirei said civil works would be completed by June 7 with installation of generators following.

“We thank Government for allowing us to be the biggest independent power producer in the country,” he said.

“This is a critical moment in our history where we are talking about ZimAsset, indigenisation and empowerment. We will not fail you. The intention is that most of that power will be consumed here but depending on Government initiatives, some can be exported into the region.”

On challenges, Mr Tagwirei said: “We need clearance to go into the Dema substation and so for the last three weeks we have been failing to get access because of security clearance. Zesa has been working on that. We also face tremendous challenge at the Beitbridge border post. We have 85 trucks stuck there and in two weeks they will be 200. Fifty percent of those trucks are going to be inspected physically and it takes about three days to inspect one truck because of the way they were loaded. We do not mind if inspection is done here while they are being offloaded.”

Dr Sibanda responded: “We listened to the challenges being faced at this major project. As we were going around, we started addressing some of them and we want to assure you that before the end of the week you will see some changes.”

Energy and Power Development secretary Mr Partson Mbiriri said: “We assure you that we shall be meeting the targets. I want to implore my colleagues who have roles to do their bit in terms of facilitating the logistics at the border and along the route.”

Coal output slump hits power plants

Coal output slump hits power plants
Bulawayo Thermal Power Station

Bulawayo Thermal Power Station

Bianca Mlilo, Business Reporter
A SLUMP in coal output has reduced the Zimbabwe Power Company’s electricity generation capacity to around 1,000MW from about 1,200MW.
Power generation statistics as of yesterday morning indicated Munyati Power Station was producing 27MW, Bulawayo 23MW, Harare: 0MW, Kariba: 467MW and Hwange 560MW, bringing the total combined power generated to 1,077MW.

ZPC indicated in its report that coal stocks were at an average of 252,283 tonnes on a daily basis for the week May 18-24, 2016 consumed to daily coal consumption that ranges from 390,000t to 490,000t. It said the target delivery was 520,000 a day.

“(Harare) Station 3 was shut down on May 23, 2016 at 1005hrs to build up coal stocks in preparation for the commissioning of the TA1 rotor,” reads part of the report.

Zimbabwe imports about 350MW from regional producers to cover the energy supply gap.

The decrease in coal deliveries has been attributed to a slump in production figures by coal mining entities in the country.

With Hwange Colliery Company Limited (HCCL) facing viability challenges and competition from new players, experts say the country’s second largest coal miner, Makomo Resources and other smaller entities do not have sufficient capacity to meet domestic demand.

The Chamber of Mines 2016 first quarter performance report indicates that coal recorded a slight decrease in volumes as compared to the same period last year.

The 2015 total volume was 1,380,642 tonnes and the total 2016 volume was 1,374,250 tonnes. The report has projected production of 3,726 million tonnes of coal for 2016.

Coal is one of Zimbabwe’s most available minerals and the country’s biggest miner, HCCL produces an average 6,2 million tonnes of coal per annum.

Low power generation has also been exacerbated by incessant equipment breakdowns in the three thermal power stations whose machinery has outlived its lifespan.

As a result the giant thermal power station in Hwange no longer produces at its 920MW capacity and in some days falls as low as 270MW.
Zimbabwe’s electricity shortage has largely been attributed to lack of investment in new power plants.

However, the government is addressing the situation through a number of initiatives among them the expansion of Kariba and Hwange power stations as well as the licensing of independent power producers.

Last year, Finance and Economic Development Minister Patrick Chinamasa announced that China had committed to provide about $1,2 billion loan for the rehabilitation of Hwange Thermal Power plant.

As a result, the power plant is being expanded with the addition of Units 7 and 8.

A similar expansion programme is also being undertaken at Kariba and the projects are at different stages of expansion.

The expansion programme would see Kariba South adding 300MW while 600MW will be added at Hwange.

Energy and Power Development secretary Partson Mbiriri has said demand for electricity has significantly declined since 1999 owing to slowdown in economic activity in recent years.

He said the country was facing a deficit of 400MW against a demand of 1,400MW.

‘Electricity demand significantly down’

‘Electricity demand significantly down’

Business Reporter
DEMAND for electricity has significantly come down since 1999 owing to the slowdown in economic activity over the years, a Government official has said.

Energy and Power Development Secretary Partison Mbiriri said on Friday that the country is facing a deficit of 400MW against a demand of 1 400MW.

Mr Mbiriri said that contrary to reports that the country’s peak period demand for electricity stands at 2 200MW, demand has been coming down over the years.

“The 2 200MW that is widely reported was for 1999, our demand is now around 1 400 MW.

“We are generating 1 000MW leaving a deficit of 400MW but on a good day we can go up to 1 200MW,” he said.

Currently, Mr Mbiriri said, the country is importing between 50MW and 300MW from Eskom in South Africa to make up the deficit in demand for power.

“We are importing 50MW during the day and 300MW during the night,” he said.

He however, said that the country should be self-sufficient in terms of power by 2018 or at the latest by 2019 when several public and private led power projects are completed, including extension of Kariba South and Hwange.

“We hope that at that time we will be able to export,” he said.

Mr Mbiriri recently said that demand for power from industry is much lower compared to last year, which has reduced pressure on the national grid.

Industrial capacity utilisation averages 34 percent due to a myriad of factors including lack of affordable funding, old and antiquated equipment.

Economic challenges have prevented several companies from increasing production or significant new investment going into industry and the economy.

Government is working on a number of new power projects including the expansion of 750MW Kariba South by 300MW and Hwange thermal station by 600MW.

Further, contracts have also been awarded for the re-powering of the country’s three small thermal power stations, which should boost power output.

These ongoing power generation capacity expansion projects will bring the country to excess generation by 2018 in line with the Zim-Asset targets.

The State-owned power generation firm, Zimbabwe Power Company, has also awarded contracts for 3 by 100MW solar power projects.

In addition, the Government also awarded Sakunda Holdings a tender to set up a 200MW diesel plant in Dema while various independent power producers have been awarded tenders to set up solar power plants across the country.

Electricity tariff hike will come at a huge cost

Electricity tariff hike will come at a huge cost

Tafara Shumba Correspondent
The proposed hike of electricity tariff by zesa Holdings and recent developments within the electric utility raked up this memory, for they share similarities. Both zesa and the dear beggar misplace their priorities at somebody’s expense.

zesa’s application for 14 percent tariff hike is currently under the scrutiny of an inter-ministerial committee. Initially, the parastatal applied to have the tariff raised from 9.86 cents per kilowatt per hour to 14.6c/kWh. However, the regulatory authority, the Zimbabwe Electricity Regulatory Authority (zera) recommended to cabinet an increase of 11.2c /kWh. The hike is ostensibly meant to cover for import costs of 300 and 40 megawatts of electricity from South Africa and Mozambique respectively.

The proposed increase was received with strong resistance from people of all walks of life.

Electricity is one of the chief economic drivers whose cost has ripple effects on the political and socio-economic lives of residents and industry.

The Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI), Chamber of Mines of Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe Farmers Union (ZFU), Commercial Farmers Union (CFU), Zimbabwe Commercial Farmers Union (ZCFU) and other business organisations have all expressed their reservations on the increase of electricity levy, arguing that the increase would come at a huge cost to the economy.

Indeed, the increase will increase the woes of the ordinary person as he is at the last point in the supply chain to bear the net effects. The hike will definitely increase the production cost of goods and services.

Unfortunately the burden will be passed on to the final consumer, the ordinary resident who is already struggling to make ends meet.

Although the increment seems to be insignificant, residents are paying the current rates through their noses.

They have many other financial obligations which cost them an arm and a leg.

What if all utility and service providers decide to hike their products? It is unfortunate that the poor citizen has always become the first port of call for everybody who needs money to fund a project.

Tollgates mushroomed all over and there were even plans to install more before the ministry changed hands in the cabinet reshuffle.

Ingenuity and performance can never be measured by extortionate actions.

A good performer thinks outside the box and solves challenges without transferring the burden to the poor.

Of course, electricity has to be imported to cover for the declining electricity generation at Kariba due to low water level.

However, there are other avenues that the parastal can explore before resorting to the obvious.

What irks everybody most is the insincerity of zesa.

It acts as if it is virtually moneyless yet the lifestyle of its executives and employees betrays that pretence.

A lifestyle audit at zesa would bring to light how the utility company misplaces its priorities.

For transparency’s sake, zesa must publish its budget that shows operating costs and costs of importing power supply.

It will not surprise anyone to discover that a greater chunk goes to salaries and perks.

zesa should have restructured itself in line with the declined electricity generation.

There is no need to keep a sea of highly remunerated employees when your generation capacity at Kariba has declined from 750mw to 275mw.

People are aware that zesa dishes out free electricity to every serving and retired employees.

Of course it is a long-standing company tradition, but the macro environment prevailing dictates that such policies be held in abeyance. Continuing with such profligacy be-gets mistrust in zesa.

Even the way that public funds are managed at zesa justifies people’s resistance to the tariff hike.

The Herald’s recent expose of Minister Samuel Udenge’s shenanigans makes it even more unwarrantable to increase tariffs.

Dr Udenge, who is on record authoritatively saying there was no going back on tariff increase, is alleged to have directed Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) and the Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company (ZETDC) to engage Psychology Maziwisa and Oscar Pambuka’s company for public relations campaigns.

A company that is extending a begging bowl to the poor has the luxury of hiring a public relations company when it has its own public relations department. Only God knows what Dr Udenge profited from the corrupt arrangement. As for Cde Maziwisa, a new entrant to the august House, has started on a very bad note that has dented his chances of a ministerial appointment. Thank God that the deal has been stopped, but people are keenly waiting to see if any teeth will sink into Dr Udenge’s flesh.

Before burdening consumers, zesa must recover over $1 billion debt it is owed. They know their debtors and so must be brave enough to face them, notwithstanding their footing. That money can go a long way in funding various energy generation projects that were mulled on some years back, but have not yet kicked off.

These debtors must be put on pre-paid meter system so that the debt can be recovered through the 40 percent debt recovery plan that zesa is taking from every electricity purchase. In fact, zesa would ensure a 100 percent revenue collection if it puts everybody on the prepaid meter system. zesa seems to be compensating that debt by increasing electricity tariff. It’s unfortunate that those who are currently paying faithfully for their electricity will be the same people who will continue to pay for the increased tariff. It becomes unfair to be punished for being faithful.

It is believed that zesa is losing about 40 percent of electricity during transmission and distribution. Is it not fair for it to plug the loopholes before rushing to the poor consumers?

zesa has been basing its arguments for an increase on the regional pricing regime. They cannot increase tariffs just to match regional prices. They must not forget that the economies are different and there are many areas where these pricing disparities exist. That is the reason why workers have not been demanding salaries that match with those of the region. Electricity is an economic enabler which every investor considers before investing in a country. Zimbabwe is seriously in need of investment. Therefore, zesa should seek to make these economic enablers cheaper so as to attract investors rather than seek to match regional costs.

It is also high time that zesa reconsiders the unbundling exercise it undertook a few years ago because it is costly. Instead of importing electricity, it must consider having synergies with those foreign power suppliers. It must also increase efforts into energy generation especially the Batoka Gorge project which is expected to generate 2400mw to be shared between Zambia and Zimbabwe.

As cabinet deliberates on the zesa application for tariff increase, it must not be lost to the ripple socio-political and economic effects the hike will have.

Zesa seeks approval for 14 percent tariff hike

Zesa seeks approval for 14 percent tariff hike

Felex Share Harare Bureau
ELECTRICITY charges will increase by about 14 percent if Cabinet rubberstamps the Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority-approved application for a tariff hike which was made by Zesa Holdings.

According to impeccable sources, an inter-Ministerial Committee is currently studying Zera’s determination to have electricity charges raised from 9,83 cents per kilowatt per hour to 11,2c.

Zesa Holdings, through the Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company (ZETDC), had applied for a tariff increase of 14,6c/kWh to help finance imports to mitigate power shortages and expand generation capacity.

“We’ve an inter-ministerial taskforce that is studying what has been brought by Zera through the Ministry of Energy and Power Development to ensure that there’s a win-win situation to both the power utility and the consumers,” said a source.

“The truth of the matter is that Zera, after conducting their stakeholder consultations, made a determination to peg the price at 11,2c/kWh. An inter-ministerial committee, senior officials from about four ministries, are meeting with members of the Office of the President and Cabinet to look at this development and they agreed on that figure. The ministries involved include that of Energy and Power Development, Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development, Industry and Commerce as well as that of Information Communication Technology, Postal and Courier Services.”

Added the source: “The agreement is that the Ministers, after their deliberations and finding a common position, will take the position to Cabinet for endorsement, through the ideal ministry. In essence the 11,2c/kWh is waiting for Cabinet approval only. Zera had promised to come back with a determination two weeks after their consultations in January but now it’s more than four months. The reason being that they had to find a win-win situation.”

Zera has repeatedly said it is still consolidating stakeholders’ input before making a determination.

ZETDC managing director Engineer Julian Chinembiri said they were still waiting for a response to their application.

He said the delay in announcing the tariff was affecting their operations.

“They (Zera) recently wrote to us saying they’ll soon give us a tariff and we’re still waiting,” he said.

“On our part, if we don’t get that tariff it means our operations will be affected heavily. The cost of the power which we’re now importing is high and we also need money to meet maintenance costs. Failure to do so will see us returning to the load shedding era because all our imports, which are significantly contributing to the current stability in power supplies, are prepaid.

“Without a tariff, we won’t be able to pay in advance. In short, we’re channelling most of our revenue to power imports at the moment and we’ve put a number of things on hold.”

Zimbabwe is spending millions of dollars importing power mainly from South Africa (300MW) and Mozambique (40MW) on a cash basis model.

The development has seen Zesa cutting down on load shedding consumers since December last year.

The situation is unsustainable as the import tariffs are higher than what is currently obtaining especially when the power utility is saddled with a more than $1 billion debt.

The power utility is currently working on supply side interventions that entail expanding capacity at Kariba South hydro power station by 300MW and Hwange by 600MW.

Eng Chinembiri said power cuts being experienced in some areas were a result of faults not load shedding.

“We now have a stable power supply since the end of last year and our hope is this will continue,” he said.

“During this period, we aren’t load shedding and people with no electricity should report to nearest depots because it’ll be due to faults. We don’t have systems to monitor low voltage faults in homes and that’s why we’re appealing to our consumers to report.”

Sadc to roll out 3 000MW of new power in 2016

Sadc to roll out 3 000MW of new power in 2016

Southern Africa aims to commission new power projects that will add 3 059 megawatts of electricity this year as the region targets to ensure that it meets its energy needs by 2020. According to the Southern African Power Pool (SAPP), which coordinates the planning, generation and transmission of electricity on behalf of member state utilities, the majority of the new power this year is expected to come from South Africa.

At least three power generation projects with a combined output of 1 624MW will be commissioned in South Africa.

Another significant contribution is expected to come from Zambia, which is due to add 300MW.

Angola, which is yet to be linked to the regional grid, will contribute 780MW.

Of the new energy generation projects planned for commissioning this year, only 2 269 MW will be added to the regional grid since the Southern African Development Community (SADC) is not yet fully integrated in terms of energy trading.

All mainland SADC countries, with the exception of Angola, Malawi and the United Republic of Tanzania, are interconnected through SAPP regional grid, allowing them to share surplus energy.

New generation capacity installed in any of the three non-participating countries is not accessible to the nine other members of SAPP – Botswana, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, Swaziland, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Gas is expected to contribute the largest share of the new generation capacity in the region in 2016, with five projects – three from Mozambique and two from South Africa – expected to add 1 410 MW by the end of year.

Unlike in previous years where coal-fired plants contributed the largest share of new generation capacity, 2016 will witness only two new coal projects coming on board with a combined capacity of 390MW, which translates to 12,74 percent.

The move towards renewable energy follows a resolution made in 2012 by Southern African countries to increase the uptake of cleaner and alternative energy sources that result in reduced carbon emission that increase climate warming and cause environmental damage.

In addition to being affordable, secure and reliable, renewable energy such as hydro, solar and wind will not be depleted and are also in abundance in the SADC region.

The long-term target set by SADC is to achieve a renewable energy mix in the regional grid of at least 32 percent by 2020 and 35 percent by 2030.

According to the African Development Bank, Southern Africa alone has the potential to become a “gold mine” for renewable energy due to the abundant solar and wind resources that are now hugely sought after by international investors in their quest for clean energy.

The SADC region is also hugely endowed with watercourses such as the Congo and Zambezi, with the Inga Dam situated on the Congo River having the potential to produce about 40 000MW of electricity, according to SAPP.

With regard to geothermal, the United Nations Environment Programme and the Global Environment Facility estimate that about 4 000MW of electricity is available along the Rift Valley in Tanzania, Malawi and Mozambique.

Of the new energy generation projects planned for commissioning this year, a major share of it will come from Independent Power Producers (IPPs) who are expected to contribute about 71,06 percent of new generation.

For example, new power to be commissioned in Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa, and Zambia will be produced by IPPs. This is a huge stride compared to last year when IPPs, all from South Africa, where responsible for only 29,83 percent of new generation capacity.

According to SAPP, Southern Africa plans to commission 21 793MW of power between 2016 and 2020. This development is expected to allow the region to attain its energy needs. SADC has been experiencing energy shortfalls for more than a decade due to growth in demand, forcing most countries to implement demand side management programmes such as load-shedding.

While load-shedding has succeeded in restraining the overall electricity demand in the region to some extent, the measure has also affected socio-economic growth, hence the need to boost power generation capacity.

To ensure all SADC countries share and benefit from increased generation capacity across borders, the region is also intensifying efforts to construct new transmission lines so that full integration is achieved. –

ZESA seeks cost reflective power tariff

ZESA seeks cost reflective power tariff

Business Reporter

POWER utility Zesa Holdings needs a cost reflective power tariff to sustain imports and the prevailing consistent supply of electricity, secretary for Energy and Power Development Partson Mbiriri has said. This comes as Zimbabwe has gone for six months without significant interruptions to power supply, largely due to low demand from industry compared to 2015 and the imports from South Africa.

The country faces a debilitating shortage of power and relies on imports, including from Mozambique, to close the power deficit.

Presently, Zesa imports up to a maximum of 300 megawatts from Eskom under a non-firm power supply agreement, but the imports are coming at slightly higher cost than local power; meaning the cash strapped utility has to, somehow, subsidise consumers.

Electricidade de Moçambique supplies Zesa Holdings 100MW, firm, unlike the deal with Eskom which may not export if internal demand is high, and plans are afoot to increase hydro power imports from EDM, which is much cheaper compared to others.

Mr Mbiriri said the blended rate for power should be reflective of the different sources of the power utility to be able to sustain imports, to bridge the deficit, and for its operations to be viable.“The key to sustainability of imports is our tariff,” he said.

But it remains unclear whether the power utility will get its way given concerns around the likely burden on consumers who already owe distribution and transmission unit, ZETDC, over $1 billion.

Already, industry which has also been struggling to clear its huge arrears from accumulated electricity bills, has voiced its concerns over possible tariff ncreases and has lobbied vigorously against any hikes.

Mr Mbiriri said it was critically important that all stakeholders from consumers, officials in the Ministry of Energy and Power Development and all Government ministers consider the implications of a non-cost reflective tariff to sustainability of imports.

This comes as the power utility has requested for a 49 percent tariff adjustment, the first since the marginal to 9,86 percent in 2013, but awaits a decision from regulators who are still awaiting input from Government on the application by Zesa Holdings. If the increase is granted, it is likely to be lower than requested.

“It is being considered by Government and we hope that very

soon a decision will be made. Certainly from the ministry’s point of view, we would like it (tariff), at the very least, to be cost reflective,” he said.

Mr Mbiri said the basis for calculating the appropriate tariff should take into account the cost of producing thermal and hydro power, cost of transmission and cost of imports from the region.

“(We should be able to say) what does it cost us to generate the (power) from Kariba (South), what does it cost us to generate from Hwange; the three small thermal power stations, what does it cost us to transmit this power to the users?” he said.

“When you blend thermal, hydro and imports, what figure does it give us or what blend rate does it give us in terms of cost? That really, to me, should be the basis for determining the tariff,” he added. “That is the formula that has been built into (the process).”

Mr Mbiriri said at the prevailing 9,86 cents per kilowatt hour the tariff is, however, not very far from being cost reflective despite the fact that Zesa has not been awarded an increase since October 2013.

But sub-economic rate partly explains the challenges Zesa faces to guarantee reliable supply of power, because of constraints around financial resources to refurbish, maintain and fund operations.

Mr Mbiriri said the current tariff is “not very far” from cost reflective despite “that is why we are managing to keep our heads above water” with regard to importation of power from regional utilities.

Although the country faces constraints in terms of generation during old age of Hwange, one of the two major plants in the country, the situation has been worsened by reduced output at Kariba South hydro power station due to lower water levels this year.

ZESA gives winter warmer cheer

Zesa gives winter  warmer cheer

Zesa gives winter warmer cheer

Debra Matabvu
ZIMBABWEANS will not experience power cuts this winter season as the Zimbabwe Electricity Distribution Transmission Company, a subsidiary of power utility Zesa, says it will meet demand.
Zesa spokesperson Mr Fullard Gwasira said there would only be minimal load shedding if demand rose above projected levels.
According to another Zesa subsidiary, the Zimbabwe Power Company on its website, about 1 005MW is being produced by Kariba, Hwange, Harare, Bulawayo and Munyati power stations.
The power utility is also banking on the Dema diesel generator, which is expected to produce 200MW during the peak of winter, while Harare Power Station will add 40MW to the grid.
Power imports from South Africa and Mozambique will shore up any shortfalls.
“The power supply situation currently prevailing in the country is that there is no load shedding and it is anticipated that this position will prevail right through the winter season for all customers,” Mr Gwasira said.
“However, if electricity demand rises beyond the projected levels, customers may witness load shedding, though mechanisms have been put in place to minimise the impact.
“The supply portfolio mix between imports and local generation is reviewed constantly. We are able to meet the current power demand from local generating assets of Kariba South Hydro Power Station, Hwange Thermal Power station and the three small thermal of Harare, Bulawayo and Munyati, coupled with imports from fellow regional utilities such as Eskom of South Africa and Hydro Cahorra Bassa (HCB) of Mozambique, among others.”
Zimbabwe requires 1 800MW of electricity daily in winter due to higher consumption from use of gadgets like heaters and geysers.
According to the Southern African Power Pool’s latest monthly report, power trade has significantly declined in the region – an indication that most countries in Sadc do not have electricity shortfalls.
In recent years, electricity customers were hit by power cuts during winter, with some suburbs going for more than 16 hours without electricity. Zimbabwe’s power supply situation has been stable since December 2015.

US$70m power deal in limbo

US$70m power deal in limbo


Harare Power Station

THE Harare Power Station re-powering project is hanging in the balance amid indications that the Indian Export-Import Bank (Eximbank) is reluctant to guarantee the required financial backing.
Two years ago, Jaguar Overseas of India, was awarded the engineering, procurement and construction contract by the Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) — a power generation unit owned by ZESA Holdings — to re-power the Harare Power Station by replacing the old plant with a modern one with more capacity and improved efficiency.
It approached Eximbank for US$70 million financial support, but has been struggling to secure that funding for the project.
Impeccable sources at ZPC, told the Financial Gazette’s Companies & Markets (C&M)last week that the Indian bank is continuously asking for more information, a situation that seem to suggest that the institution is not interested in funding the project.
“I would say it’s almost two years (since we submitted our request) but Eximbank of India is continuously asking for more information and we now don’t know when the funds will be availed to enable the commencement of the project,” a source from ZPC told C&M.
Efforts by this newspaper to get a comment from ZPC managing director, Noah Gwariro, were not successful by the time of going to print as he was said to be away on business.
Energy and Power Development Minister, Samuel Undenge and his permanent secretary, Partson Mbiriri, were also not available to comment on the issue.
The re-powering project would see the replacement of the current boiler technology with a circulated fluidised bed, which is more efficient and cost effective.
This will grow the plant’s generation capacity to 120 megawatts (MW) from the current 30MW.
Surprisingly, Jaguar, which is in a quandary over the issue of funding the Harare Power Station project, has also been awarded the tender to re-power Munyati Power Station.
The project at Munyati will see the replacement of 15 existing boilers, overhaul of cooling towers and water treatment plant, refurbishment of two 50MW steam turbines and carrying out civil works.
The outdated power plant it intends to repower is currently generating about 20MW on average, but Munyati Power Station will have its electricity generation capacity restored to 100MW.
Government has also secured US$87 million from the Government of India to re-power Bulawayo Power Station.
The loan will be repaid in 13 years at an interest rate of two percent per annum.
But the refurbishment of the 120MW Bulawayo Power Station, which should have commenced early this year, has been deferred to later this year after parties to the transaction agreed to float a tender for the project in India, instead of Zimbabwe.
Zimbabwe faces a critical power shortage with generation averaging just below 1000MW and this has been unable to meet the country’s demand of about 1 600MW.
To cover for the shortfall, the power utility, ZESA Holdings, is importing about 300MW of electricity from Eskom of South Africa and 100MW from Hydro Cahora Bassa of Mozambique.
However, government, through ZPC, is working to close the electricity supply gap in the country through expansion projects at Kariba South Hydro Power Station and Hwange Thermal Power Station.
A Chinese contractor, Sino Hydro Corporation, is undertaking expansion work at Kariba Hydro Power Station, which is expected to add 300MW to the country’s existing power generation capacity.
The expansion work at Kariba Hydro Power Station is expected to be complete by 2018 after the government and China Eximbank signed a US$355 million loan agreement for the expansion of the plant.
Expansion of Hwange Thermal Power Station, the largest coal-fired power station in the country, will also be undertaken by Sino Hydro Corporation.
The expansion will see the thermal power station adding two more units with a combined generation capacity of 600MW.
Zimbabwe is also pursuing other projects to harness power from solar and the US$4,5 billion Batoka Gorge project along the Zambezi River, some 54 kilometres downstream of Victoria Falls.
The multi-billion dollar hydro power project, which is being driven by the Zambezi River Authority, a company owned by the Zimbabwean and Zambian governments, is expected to generate 2 400MW of electricity to be shared equally by the two countries.
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Contrary to all the terrible stories going around about the Wall collapsing and the lake drying up, I would like to give you, past, the regular and future visitor to Kariba a couple of facts.

The Zambezi River Authority based jointly in Zambia and Zimbabwe are the people that control the water in Lake Kariba, Zimbabwe Power Corporation in Zimbabwe and Zesco in Zambia control the generation of the power for our countries. The Power Companies purchase the water they use from the ZRA and ZRA are responsible for the upkeep of the Wall, the dam structures, monitoring and controlling the water in the Lake.

Unfortunately, no one in ZRA has control over how much rain we receive in the Catchment areas, so do not have any influence in how much water inflows or how much the Lake can rise in a given year, but do have influence over how much is consumed or released if the Lake fills to a spilling level.

Firstly, you all know from all the “Experts” that write about the structural condition of the Wall and the “Fact” that it is going to fail; well there is a plan to sort it out starting in the middle of next year, by excavating in the Stilling Pool to enable the water when spilled to get away from the Wall foundation and thereby rectifying the problem there. I hope this comes off and works.

But, as far as we locals in Kariba are concerned, it is the misunderstood information about the Lake water level that concern us the most. So many people are under the impression that the Lake is virtually empty and subsequently aren’t coming here for a “Holiday of a Lifetime in Africa’s Best Kept Secret”, because of it.

You would have heard that the water level has come down to only around 12% in the Lake and many people think or assume that the Lake is a small puddle left to play in near the wall,  well this is where the confusion comes in. Because of this, boats can’t go out; so what’s the point of going there ??

When ZRA and ZPC talk about percentages, they are referring to the amount of water that is left in order to generate power not the entire level of the lake, so when they say there is only 12% left, it’s how much they have left to use before closing the generators off completely.


There are so many figures I could show you concerning how much water is in the lake but the numbers are huge and can be very confusing, for example, when the Lake is full to maximum 100% capacity (488,5 M above sea level) it holds 180,6 Billion Cubic Metres, now let me tell you, that is a BIG Bucket full of water as many homes only use about 70 Cubic Meters a month.

When the Lake is down to a position that it cannot supply water for generation 0% there is still 115,8 Billion Cubic Metres in the lake or it’s 64% full.

With the drought over the past couple of years and the overuse of the water for generation, the generation level did drop to 12% but fortunately with of the late, good rains we have had in the catchment areas the Lake has come up just on 2 M to date and we are hoping to get another 3 M this year, so the Lake is currently 73% full. It most certainly is not empty and is only down about 9 M from full. We have been down 12,5 M before.

What it means to Houseboat users and fishermen, is that we now have some large areas along the shore exposed, so all the game are out for us to see and, and now with the Lake rising the fish are moving into the grass where we can have some great fishing catching Pinkies and other Bream. Wonderful fun catching a fish on a small float in the grass with an old Ele or other animal grazing next to you.

Remember, the Lake is not full but it definitely is NOT empty!!!

I hope that this information makes sense to you and we will see you all back in Kariba again soon. 

We do need your support.



P1020698 (2)



Parly stops shady power plant deal

Parly stops shady power plant deal
Daniel Shumba

Daniel Shumba

Lloyd Gumbo Senior Reporter
Parliament has stopped the implementation of the 120 megawatt emergency Mutare Power Peaking Plant after it emerged that the State Procurement Board awarded the tender to a company that had failed to meet technical specifications stated by the Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC).

The SPB unilaterally awarded the tender to technically non-compliant Helcraw Electrical (Pvt) Ltd because it charged $92 million against a recommendation by ZPC to award the tender to technically- compliant Pito Investments that had charged $120 million for the emergency diesel power plant.

Pito Investments is owned by Mr Alexio Chideme, while Mr Farai Jere is the proprietor of Helcraw Electrical.

Also read:

The technical requirements were that the winning bidder must build at least three units with at least 30MW to 40MW per unit to ensure that when one of the units is down, the power plant would remain with 80MW running.

ZPC management and Pito Investments representatives told the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Mines and Energy yesterday that the SPB proceeded to award the tender to Helcraw Electrical, whose bid had two units of 58MW each, contrary to a ZPC recommendation of Pito Investments that met the technical requirements of at least three units of between 30 and 40MW.

But the committee chaired by Zanu-PF MP for Masvingo Urban, Cde Daniel Shumba, took the ZPC to task on why it did not disqualify Helcrow Electrical after realising that they did not meet the technical specifications.

ZPC operations director, Engineer Joshua Chirikutsi, who represented managing director Mr Noah Gwariro, told the committee: “ZPC adjudication recommended the award of the tender to Pito Investments at $120 million, which was then reviewed by State Procurement Board who awarded the tender to Helcraw at a price of $92 million.

“Due diligence was then carried out by ZPC on Helcrow and its technical partners. After the due diligence we then sought a waiver from our ministry through Zesa Holdings and we got a response to proceed to the contract signing as awarded by State Procurement Board. The contract was duly signed on the 31st of December 2015.”

ZPC project manager, Mr Peter Mapfumo, also admitted to the committee that Helcrow Electrical did not meet the technical specifications hence their decision to award the tender to Pito Investments.

He said after making their recommendation to SPB, they then got an SPB resolution “telling us to go Helcraw way”.

However, legislators queried how Helcraw Electrical’s name made it to the SPB when they should have been disqualified by virtue of failing to meet the technical requirements.

Cde Shumba demanded to know how ZPC forwarded Helcrow Electrical’s name to the SPB when they failed to meet the technical requirements.

“From your evaluation here, the reason you scored Helcraw less than Pito was purely on technical,” he said.

“It’s here and even the tender board confirms it. You only scored Helcrow higher on price because their price was $92 million yet they were not bidding for the same thing.

“In terms of process, once you got the commercial envelop, you should have set aside the non-compliant bids so that you invest in the adjudication of compliant bids. Be that as it may, you proceeded to evaluate all the bids and sent to the tender board the non-compliant bid and then the tender board reversed your recommendation and went for the non-compliant. But you opened that window by evaluating further a non-compliant bid.”

Cde Shumba said Helcraw Electrical documents that the ZPC presented to the committee indicated they proposed to build two units of 58MW each making it impossible for the plant to have 80MW running in the event of one plant failing.

“What was your motivation in including something that violated your own technical specifications, your RFP specifications and your board approval? Why did you proceed to waste company resources?

“You must remember that you travelled all the way to India to look at these non-compliant technical units and still proceeded to sign a contract for things you knew were not consistent with your technical specifications.

“Your technical visit to India to look at the wrong items, you used State money, State resources and came back and still concluded a contract that is in violation of specifications, technical recommendations and board approval,” said Cde Shumba.

Zanu-PF MP for Mashonaland West, Cde Jennifer Mhlanga, also demanded to know why the ZPC proceeded to evaluate Helcraw Electrical’s bid when they had failed to comply at the technical level.

“Why did they proceed to include Helcrow when in the first instance it did not meet the specifications? If they had thrown Helcraw bid away because it didn’t meet the specifications, we wouldn’t be discussing about this,” she said.

Added MDC-T MP for Bulawayo East, Ms Tabitha Khumalo: “What then made you come up with a decision that Helcrow qualifies after realising that the financial envelop is proving otherwise? Technically already they have failed and should be disqualified. Then why did you score them in the first place after realising that the funding was wrong?”

Manicaland MP, Ms Fanny Chirisa and Musikavanhu MP Mr Prosper Mutseyami (MDC-T), said ZPC was complicit in the irregularity by forwarding Helcrow Electrical’s bid to SPB.

But ZPC supply chain manager, Mr Alfred Maunganidze, said the ZPC told the SPB the reasons why they did not recommend Helcraw Electrical.

“In our response we told them that Helcraw’s total capacity of the generators offered were less than the requirement of 120MW.

“In the commercial envelop, Helcraw clearly indicated that they will provide two units against a requirement of tender document of at least three modular units. Helcraw technical proposal also clearly states that the units will be AE63.4A ,which would provide the gross output of 58MW each unit as indicated in the document that we gave them,” said Mr Maunganidze.

However, Cde Shumba concluded: “For the purposes of noting, we don’t want to close the stables when the horses have already bolted. You are aware now that this issue is before this committee up to the end when we have concluded this process.

“We do not expect that you shall be in violation of Parliament procedures or in contempt of Parliament by proceeding and further complicating this bid which we are sure you are going to hold at the stage that it is at both financially, technically and legally until such time that you implement our final report. You aware that Parliament is one of the three pillars of the State and we are seized with this matter. We don’t expect you to circumvent us it has got consequences to you and your corporate.”

‘No power tariff hike’

‘No power tariff hike’

Business Reporter—
THE Ministry of Energy and Power Development has refuted reports over alleged approval of an electricity tariff hike by the power utility, Zesa. In a statement yesterday, the ministry said a report last week, which indicated that the ministry had given the nod to a tariff increase, did not reflect the correct government position.

“The correct position of the Ministry of Energy and Power Development is that no tariff increase has been approved by the government,” said the ministry. It said the correct position was that Zesa applied to the regulator, the Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority (Zera) for a tariff review in November 2015.

The regulator reviewed the application in December 2015 and later conducted consultative meetings with interested parties between January and February this year as per requirement of the Electricity Act. A majority of consumers — industry, farmers and domestic — condemned the proposed tariff hike saying this was going to increase the burden on them.

The ministry said Zera was “still consolidating” stakeholder inputs before finalising the tariff approval. It said: “It should be noted that the regulator Zera is the only institute mandated to announce any tariff adjustments. The regulator has not done so, and therefore, there is no change on the current tariff”.

The government has since advised those concerned to contact Zera for clarification. Zimbabwe faces an acute power supply gap given suppressed domestic generation at less than 1,000MW compared to above 2,000MW average demand.

The existing coal powered plants in Hwange, Bulawayo, Munyati and Harare are producing below capacity because of obsolete equipment, which is prone to incessant breakdowns.

The country’s largest hydro-power plant in Kariba is also producing far below its 750MW installed capacity due to low water levels as a result of El-Niño induced drought.

This has forced the country to import power from regional producers such as South Africa, Mozambique and the DRC. Meanwhile, the Zimbabwe Power Company has said it was going ahead with its proposed establishment of a 100MW photovoltaic solar power station and a 15-17km of 132kV grid transmission in Gwanda.

The solar power station is aimed at increasing Zimbabwe’s power generation capacity. “The proposed power station site is prescribed for Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) in terms of the Environmental Management Act and ZPC is undertaking the EIA process to satisfy the legal requirements and also achieve best practice,” said ZPC.

As part of the consultative process ZPC, through its consultant, Ascon Africa, is in the process of consulting all key stakeholders of the project. ZPC warned that the establishment of the power project will have an impact of visual intrusion, noise, disruption of ecology and interaction between site vehicles and public traffic.

Zesa tariff hike gets nod

Zesa tariff hike gets nod

Business Reporter
The cost of electricity is set increase after the Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority approved an average tariff of 11,2c/kWh from 9,83c, sources said yesterday.

Power utility, Zesa Holdings had applied for a tariff increase of 14,6c/kWh to help finance imports to mitigate power shortages and expanding generation capacity.

In order to ease load-shedding, imports of electrical energy were at $47,63 million as suppliers from Mozambique and South Africa were operating on a cash basis model.

However, the situation is unsustainable going forward as the import tariffs are higher than what is currently obtaining especially when the power utility is saddled with a +$1 billion debt.

“After a careful study of the proposal from Zesa, an average tariff increase of 11,2c/kWh has been granted,” said an official in the Ministry and Energy and Power Development.

“Several issues were looked into including economic hardships facing the economy and ability of customers to pay. Remember, Zesa is owed about $1 billion by domestic and commercial customers and granting the proposed tariff would have worsened the consumers’ situation.”

No comment could be obtained from Zesa by the time of going to print yesterday. The average power tariff of 11,2c per kWh is, however, lower than the price at which Zesa is paying for imports from South Africa and Mozambique.


Zimbabwe is importing power mainly from Mozambique, where it is seeking more, and South Africa and this has seen a drastic reduction in power rationing.

Prior to Zesa’s power importation programme, Zimbabweans had been enduring long periods of power cuts, which severely affected businesses, including mines.

Zesa is also still negotiating with Mozambique’s EDM to import an additional 40 megawatts with the power utility seeking to secure a tariff that is less onerous to users.

Secretary for Energy and Power Development Partison Mbiriri recently said the power utility will be guided by what obtains in the region in terms of the tariff rate it seeks to agree with EDM.

This comes as it emerged EDM had bargained for a tariff of about 15c/kWh, but Mr Mbiriri said rates between 13c/kWh and 15c/kWh would be on the high side.

Zesa has previously indicated that it is seeking an economic tariff to be able to maintain consistent and sufficient supply of power, including augmenting with imports.

The power utility might have to depend significantly on imports until a series of Government and private sector projects are completed, at least in the next three years.

Eng Magombo said recently that the target is to try and approve a power tariff rate that is economic for the producer and also affordable to the consumers.

The power utility is currently working on supply side interventions that entail expanding capacity at Kariba South hydro power station by 300MW and Hwange by 600MW.

Zesa renovates power evacuation system

Zesa renovates power evacuation system
Zesa power lines

Zesa power lines

Martin Kadzere and Tinashe Makichi

POWER utility, Zesa Holdings has refurbished part of its power evacuation system at Kariba Power Station at a cost of about $14 million, spokesperson Fullard Gwasira has said. Power evacuation is a critical function that allows generated power to be immediately evacuated from the WPP to the grid for distribution. Zesa, through its power transmission subsidiary ZETDC contracted Helcraw, a local firm to undertake the project.“The Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company in partnership with Helcrow — the implementing contractor — embarked on a project to refurbish transformers at the Kariba Power Station complex during the period 2014-16 at a cost of $13,7 million.

“The project, funded by Afrochin, involved replacement of old cables and the associated equipment to increase off-take of electricity from the power station and to make the assets insurable as well as to eliminate the risk of fire to the assets.”

“We are happy the project has been successfully completed. This will result in greater efficiency, greater reliability and stability in the evacuation of power,” he added.

Kariba has six generators, two of which supply power to a single transformer. The other three generators have a voltage of 18 Kilovolt that is stepped up to 330Kv (grid voltage) as they feed power to the national grid. The 330Kv is then linked to the national grid through a set of cables of an inter-distance of 600 metres. The generator transformer belongs to Zimbabwe Power Company, the power generation subsidiary of Zesa and the cables belong to the transmission section of ZETDC.

Out of the three transformers, ZETDC has done work on one and commissioned the new set with the second transformer being expected to be completed by June.

The target completion date of the remaining transformer is October this year. The work encompass the replacement of the old technology called the Paper Insulated Filter cables that had been serving the system since 1960. The old technology is being replaced by the Cross-Linked Polyethylene technology that is real-time. Mr Gwasira said the renewed assets were expected to efficiently supply power for another 50 years.

He added that ZPC has upgraded generator transformers from 240 MVA to 315 MVA to increase capacity, with the upgraded and renewed cables being expected to improve the uptake of power from Kariba as the entire system has been given a fresh lease of life.

In an interview, Helcraw managing director Farai Jere said the successful completion of the project was a major milestone particularly for a local company.

“This was a very complicated project and everyone was looking at the company to see how Helcraw was going to execute that project” said Mr Jere.

“Even when the project was awarded to Helcraw it was hugely contested and it was said that as a local company it was not going to perform. It is a $14 million project; small but in terms of execution, it is one of the most complicated projects to undertake. This project has since been done.

“The complication of the project was that the tunnel was severely damaged and the shaft was also damaged by water coming from the dam.

“We had to repair that and then find ways to stop the water using latest technology when we were repairing the shaft and the tunnel. The other complication was to remove the existing cables because the cables that were there were installed about 50 years ago.”

He said his company had to partner a South Korean company, LS Cables, and a South African company which had previously done a similar project with Eskom, SA power utility.

The project was managed by a Norwegian company. Mr Gwasira said the power utility was still doing apex progammes to ensure reliability of power generation and distribution.

It is estimated that the country could be losing significant amount of power due to ageing infrastructure.

Zimbabwe saves 110MW from pre-paid electricity meters – Zesa

Zimbabwe saves 110MW from pre-paid electricity meters – Zesa


Farmers owe Zesa close to US$100 million. In total, the utility is owed over US$1 billion.

ZIMBABWE has managed to save 110MW of electricity, the size of a small power station and about a tenth of current output, since pre-paid meters were introduced in 2012, the country’s power utility has said.

The southern African country’s current output, including imports from regional electricity suppliers, was 1,190MW as of Tuesday, against peak demand of 2,200MW. The power deficit has affected industry and households, which often go for hours without electricity.

In a statement, Power utility Zesa’s distribution unit said paying upfront for electricity has seen consumers consciously scaling down on use, resulting in energy savings.

“Customer habits have changed as they now avoid wastage and use electricity efficiently,” Zesa said.

“Capacity in the range of 110MW was released as a result of deployment of prepaid meters.”

To date, Zesa has managed to install 563,000 pre-paid meters. An additional 120,000 meters for residential users are expected to be installed by the end of 2016, Zesa said. An additional 40,000 installations are targeted for the commercial, industrial and farming sectors.

Zesa has secured $130 million from the African Export Import Bank for the procurement of 130,000 prepaid meters.

The installation of pre-paid meters in the commercial, industrial and farming areas is expected to begin in the last quarter of 2016. There has been resistance to the installation of meters on farms, with farmers arguing that their seasonal income is better suited to the current post-paid system.

Farmers owe Zesa close to $100 million. In total, the utility is owed over $1 billion.

Apart from the savings from the pre-paid metering project, Zimbabwe has managed to stabilise its power supply situation through the imports of up to 400MW from regional suppliers such as South Africa’s Eskom, which has a discretionary agreement with Zesa for off-peak supplies. Zimbabwe also imports power from Mozambique. The Source

ZPC gears for winter demand

ZPC gears for winter demand

Golden Sibanda recently in Hwange
The Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) is targeting to ramp up power generation at its Hwange Thermal Power Station to 700 megawatts from 484MW in preparation for higher demand during the winter period.

Hwange Power Station general manager Engineer Joshua Chirikutsi said ZPC is engaging all its coal suppliers with a view to increase coal deliveries to enable it to build stock levels from just over 200 000 tonnes to about 300 000 tonnes.

The thermal power station requires a minimum of 115 000 tonnes from each of its two major suppliers, Hwange Colliery Company and Makomo Resources, for its normal consumption.

As such, it is engaging the coal miners to request them to seek ways to increase supply to 150 000 tonnes each per month in order for the power plant to build sufficient stock ahead of the beginning of winter in two months when demand is higher.

ZPC would also want each of the smaller suppliers such as Coal Zim and Coal Brick to double deliveries to the power station from about 10 000 tonnes per month to around 20 000 tonnes to help build the reserves.

Demand for power increases in winter due to more usage by farmers for the winter wheat farming, but also due to higher usage by domestic consumers who require energy for heating purposes.

Hwange thermal power station, with installed capacity of 920MW, can only produce to a maximum of 700MW as its capacity is now constrained by the advanced age of equipment at the station, which requires regular servicing as it has outlived its design lifespan.

This also comes against the backdrop of acute shortage of power with production currently averaging 1100MW against peak period demand for power of 2200MW. The deficit is bridged through imports from the regional utilities.


It is against this background that Zesa Holdings generation unit’s board of directors visited the power plant from Wednesday to Friday to familiarise with operations and challenges the station is facing in its effort to raise output ahead of steep demand for power during the winter period.

“We are here as the board to familiarise ourselves with the operations and challenges the station is facing especially as they seek to increase production ahead of the winter period,” said ZPC board chairman Engineer Stanley Kazhanje on Thursday last week.

Engineer Chirikutsi said the engagement of major coal suppliers comes as the suppliers are facing production challenges emanating from prevailing cashflow constraints.

He said working capital challenges had seen the major suppliers delivering only about 100 000 tonnes per month instead of the required 150 000 tonnes to build the stocks amounting to 300 000 tonnes ahead of the winter period stretching from June to July.

Along with plans to build stocks Mr Chirikutsi said the power station was also in the process of servicing its power generators with all six units to be refurbished before the beginning of the winter period. The servicing of the generators is key for the power plant to hit its generation target of 700MW.

He also pointed out that one of the major problems the power station is facing in its effort to ramp up power is limited cashflows.

Zimbabwe is facing serious shortage of power as it has not invested in new generation capacity after completing units 5 and 6 in the mid-1980s.

Government is working on a number of new power projects including extension of 750MW Kariba South by another 300MW and Hwange thermal station by 600MW.

This will bring the country to excess generation by 2018 in line with its medium economic policy, Zim-Asset, targets to be self- sufficient.

Construction of Dema power plant begins

Construction of Dema power plant begins

April 11, 2016 in NationalNews

CONSTRUCTION of the multi-million-dollar Dema Power Plant, about 40 kilometres outside Harare, has started with the project expected to be complete by year-end.


 The diesel-powered electricity-generating project, a public private partnership deal between government and energy company Sakunda Holdings was targeting to produce about 200 megawatts (MW), an amount that could go a long way to ease the country’s power problems.

According to a letter by Energy and Power Development ministry secretary Patson Mbiriri to Zesa chief executive officer Josh Chifamba, government was aware of the impending power shortage given problems at Kariba Power Station.

“The government of Zimbabwe has approved the acquisition of 200MW Emergency Diesel Power Station at Dema sub-station. The contract for the installation of the plant and supply of power has been awarded to Sakunda Holdings,” Mbiriri said in a December 24, 2015 letter.

“Government is cognisant of the urgent need to secure 200MW to cover the gap which is going to be created by the reduction of power generation at Kariba Power Station as of January 1, 2016. Nonetheless, the supply of power from the diesel plant should not cause negative impacts to the economy.”

Mbiriri added: “Considering the urgency of the matter government recommends that you should now engage Sakunda Holdings for contract negotiations.”

He indicated that the tariff structure would have to be “locked for 36 months”.

On the same day, Chifamba wrote to Sakunda inviting the company for negotiations then set for December 28.

Water shortages at Kariba Dam, a result of poor rains, have caused drastic reduction in power generation resulting in electricity rationing across the country that has affected industry and commerce as well as domestic consumers.

A visit to the construction site in Dema last week showed workers busy with civil works for the project that was set to gradually phase out from diesel to thermal gas and hydro-power with a target of over 800 megawatts in 10 years at a prime price of $0,10 per kilowatt hour. A site supervisor who declined to be named said: “We are preparing firm ground for the generators and five bladder tanks that will carry about 800 000 litres each at any given time for the production of about 230MW. We should be ready to bring in the generators in just under two months. This plant has zero percent transmission loss compared to the obtaining 15% transmission loss from other power stations,” the official said.

Briefing bankers and other stakeholders in Harare recently, Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa said the emergency diesel power plant would boost the country’s power production.



Kariba Dam water levels rise 8%

WATER levels at Kariba Dam have remained low, with a marginal increase of 8% since January, despite recent incessant rains that pounded most parts of the country over the past two months, NewsDay has learnt.


Latest dam level statistics released by the Zambezi River Authority (ZRA) indicate that the country’s main source of hydro-electricity power was now at 17%, compared to the 32% during the same period last year.

“The lake levels continued rising during the week under review, with the lake level closing at 477,96m on March 23, 2016, which is lower than the level that was recorded last year (482,21m) on the same date,” a statement from ZRA read.

In January, the dam’s water levels dropped to as low as 11% due to erratic rains received this past rainy season, forcing ZRA to reduce water allocation for generation of energy to both Zimbabwe and Zambia.

The World Bank forecast in December last year stated that the power deficit would linger at least until 2018 and possibly up to 2020.

With some areas being hit by load shedding, Zesa Holdings has warned that it would reduce power generation from the current 475 megawatts (MW) to 280MW this year.

Zimbabwe’s electricity generation is estimated to be around 1 077MW against a national requirement in excess of 2 200MW.

The current power crisis has seen the government ordering major mining companies and other large electricity consumers to reduce consumption by up to 25%.

Solar water heaters to save 300MW

Solar water heaters to save 300MW
Patson Mbiriri

Patson Mbiriri

THE government is pursuing initiatives to save up to 300 megawatts of electricity by 2018 through using solar water heaters in homes and public institutions, an official has said.

At least 20 percent of electricity is consumed wastefully, especially in houses.

Speaking at a stakeholder consultative workshop on the national solar water heating programme, Energy and Power Development permanent secretary Patson Mbiriri said about 40 percent of household energy consumption goes to water heating.

“A Solar Water Heating Programme was launched here in September 2015 which will help save 300MW especially in domestic households,” he said.

Mbiriri said a number of Demand Side Management opportunities were available but their implementation depended on costs, availability and technology advancement.

“In 2015, residential power applications consumed 2,500 giga-watt hours of power as compared to industry and agriculture, which had 2,200 and 470 giga-watt hours respectively,” he said.

He said there was a need to embark on programmes that encourage power saving especially in domestic households.

Zimbabwe has an internal generating capacity of 1,400 MW but is currently producing 1,065 MW while at peak demand is 1,200 MW, leaving the government to import the shortfall from Eskom of South Africa and Hydro Cahora Basa of Mozambique.

The government has embarked on several initiatives to bridge the power deficit including expanding generation capacity at Kariba and Hwange power plants. — New Ziana

Government should urgently address power crisis

Government should urgently address power crisis


No major development can take place without stable, reliable, cheaper and sustainable energy resources.

Allen Choruma

THERE is a positive correlation between power supply and economic development.
Economic development hinges on availability of energy resources. If Zimbabwe invests in power, this will in turn attract foreign direct investment (FDI), create jobs, increase opportunities and enhance living standards of our people.
No major development can take place without stable, reliable, cheaper and sustainable energy resources.
Every Zimbabwean citizen, whether an ordinary farmer or a business executive will tell you that the country is facing huge power challenges owing to frequent load shedding, vandalism of electricity cables and transformers and non-availability of power in certain areas.
In my own neighbourhood in Ruwa, we have gone for close to three weeks without electricity.
Zimbabweans behold, Kariba Dam whose water levels could soon fall below the required 475,5 metres level for power generation, could stop generating power soon unless if water levels rise.
Hilton Munendoro, in his article: Zimbabwe energy sector facing a boom clearly articulated the power challenges as follows:
i. Billing and collection of revenue from consumers;
ii. Aged and obsolete equipment;
iii. Poor state of infrastructure;
iv. Operational challenges, including under capitalisation, compounded by debt-ridden financial positions;
v. Inadequate specialised skills and tools required for planning and forecasting energy needs;
vi. High cost of rural electrification through grid extension and scattered nature of settlements; and
vii. Theft, vandalism of infrastructure by criminals, which reduces output and disrupts production.
Government interference in the running of ZESA Holdings remains an impediment to efficient operations of the power utility.
ZESA cannot increase its tariffs, or implement certain projects, for example, without government approval.
There are instances where ZESA has proposed to increase its tariffs and these proposed tariffs were either cancelled or revised downwards by government bureaucrats.
At the beginning of this year, ZESA proposed to increase power tariffs from the current US$0,986/ kilowatt-hour (kWh) to US$0,1464/kWh, but no government approval has been given yet.
ZESA imports power from the Southern African Development Community region at an average cost of US$0,1550/kWh, but sells it to consumers at a subsidised rate of US$0,986/kWh. Is this sustainable? Definitely a big NO!
In 2013, feeling the heat from government, after all local authorities had been directed by government to write-off debts for ratepayers, ZESA buckled and announced that it would write-off debts to farmers and pass a credit of US$160 to all domestic users. The cost to ZESA was a staggering US$170 million.
Dema Diesel Power Plant
Currently, there are issues with the 200 megawatt (MW) Dema Commercial Diesel Power plant project, which was awarded to Sakunda Energy and Glasgow-based company, Aggreko.
A local daily reported recently that the project has been delayed. Apparently, ZESA has refused to sign an off take agreement with Sakunda and Aggreko in the absence of a new electricity tariff increase.
What baffles us is: Was ZESA not part of the project from inception to an extent that at this late stage they are now refusing to sign the agreement with the suppliers? Surely, if ZESA were involved in the project and selection of the suppliers, and were “part of the project” why would they be refusing to sign the agreement with the suppliers?
We smell a rat here.
ZESA could have been “coerced” by government into the project and “muzzled” to prevent the parastatal’s executives from speaking against it.
This could be another example of government interference in ZESA’s operations.
The Dema project is unsustainable from a cost perspective. The diesel power plant, according to the local daily, will produce expensive power at about US$0,18/kWh yet ZESA is importing cheaper power from Mozambique at US$0,1550/kWh and from South Africa at US$0,13/kWh.
We do therefore understand why ZESA is refusing to sign the three-year off take agreement with Sakunda and Aggreko. Why would we construct a diesel power plant which is unsustainable to run and produces power at a higher cost than imported power? Why not just import the cheaper power from Mozambique and South Africa? Maybe we are missing the point here.
On another note, is the investment in diesel plants a good idea when the world is moving towards investing in sustainable clean energy?
ZESA’s initiatives to address power challenges
According to media sources, ZESA has embarked on a number of initiatives to address power challenges in Zimbabwe. These include:
•Introduction of pre-paid meters to address revenue collection challenges. A total of 38 000 meters have been installed countrywide;
•Adoption of the demand side management programme: ZESA is promoting the use of energy saving bulbs and will distribute about 5,5 million energy savers. This initiative is expected to save power usage of up to 300MW;
•ZESA is also promoting the use of solar geysers as opposed to electrical element heated geysers, which consume more energy;
•Improving security on installed equipment, such as transmission cables and transformers through police and neighbourhood watch committees;
•Lobbying for prosecution and tougher sentences on theft and vandalism cases involving its assets;
•Rehabilitation of existing power plants i.e. Hwange, Munyati and others; and
•Development of new power projects such as Kariba South, which will generate 300MW on completion.
Whatever power projects are implemented, they should also take into account the global drive for investments into sustainable renewable energy resources and clean energy with zero carbon emissions. And where fossil fuels are to be used, appropriate technology, which limits carbon emissions, should be applied.
Reforms in power regime
Comprehensive reforms in the power sector are required to ensure that Zimbabwe provides sustainable, reliable, adequate, affordable and efficient power.
Some partial reforms aimed at improving efficiencies have taken place i.e. the unbundling of ZESA into separate/stand alone companies such as the Zimbabwe Power Company, the Zimbabwe Rural Electrification Agency (ZERA), the Zimbabwe Electricity and Transmission Distribution Company etc.
The fact of the matter is, however, that these companies are still State enterprises and are part of ZESA and therefore still fall under Ministry of Energy and Power Development.
The Ministry of Energy and Power Development has also issued licences to private operators in an effort to bring in other players into the power field.
However, there has been very little impact as no major power projects have been implemented to date.
Given the fact that power projects require huge capital outlays, private players can only invest in power if the sector is de-regulated and certain policies are in place to enable them to profitably generate, distribute and sell their power.
Government through ZESA still remains the dominant player in power generation, distribution, tariff determination and billing.
ZESA still controls the entire cycle in the power business and has an undisputed monopoly.
What we need to see is the opening up of the power sector to ensure that there are other players who can also compete with ZESA so that the consumers benefit.
Currently, consumers have no option and are at the mercy of ZESA.
The following are some of the reforms required:
• Deregulate the power sector and allow private players (independent power producers – IPPs) to generate, distribute, determine own tariffs and bill consumers;
• Divesture of ZESA into independent commercial units i.e. creating stand-alone units, which will operate as commercial enterprises (outside control of ZESA). Some ZESA assets will be disposed of to private players;
• Promote Public Private Sector Partnerships;
•Promote Build Operate Transfer projects;
• Reform the regulatory environment i.e. ZERA should be independent and in turn create a non-partisan, transparent and fair regulatory environment;
• Reform the public tender system to ensure that the process is non-partisan, transparent, and fair, considering that power projects involve huge capital investments. This would weed out corruption in awarding tenders;
• Ensure that there is a regulatory framework that is clear, consistent and that brings transparency in the administration of the power sector.
We have seen economic advantages that followed when Zimbabwe opened up the telecommunications sector, which for many years had been monopolised by the Post and Telecommunication Corporation.
The opening up of the telecoms sector resulted in new players such as Econet Wireless, Telecel and Africom coming in.
We have seen huge investments in this field, resulting in the creation of thousands of jobs, improvement in networks and products thereof, lower tariffs to the consumers etc.
If the telecoms industry was opened up, why not do the same to the power sector?
Statistics show that at least 17 African countries have deregulated their energy sectors. Nigeria is one example.
During the tenure of presidents Ulusegun Obasanjo and Goodluck Jonathan, the Nigerian government embarked on aggressive power generation projects, through the creation of private sector-funded projects, IPPs and state funded National Integrated Power Projects (NIPPs).
The target of the Nigerian government was to add 4 700MW to the existing power generating capacity through the IPPs and NIPPs.
The Nigerian government, under Jonathan, managed to overcome funding and other governance challenges that almost derailed the NIPPs. Power generation grew from 2 800MW to 3 800MW under his administration.
Currently, at least 50 percent of the power produced in Nigeria is produced by private players.
Unless if there is strong political will, followed by significant national investments in new power projects, Zimbabwe will not be able to address the current power shortages, which threaten to derail economic development in the country.
Road map
Government should liberalise the power sector. The process should not be rushed to avoid pitfalls associated with hastily convened policies.
A clear road map (i.e. a power privatisation policy) which sets out government objectives should be crafted to ensure that all is in place before the energy sector is opened up. A regulatory framework, i.e. legislation passed by Parliament, that gives legal effect and sets out modalities for de-regulation of the energy sector should then follow.
Advantages of privatisation of the energy sector include:
• New investments in the power sector;
• Economic growth hence job creation;
• Increase in power generation;
• More competition hence efficiencies in power generation, distribution and billing;
• More choices to consumers as ZESA monopoly will be abolished;
• Value for money for consumers in lower tariffs.
Under a deregulated environment, government would continue to play a role in the power sector through ZESA, which would retain certain functions and strategic assets, with the other non-core assets being sold to the private sector investors.
Allen Choruma can be contacted on e- mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Power cut ruins Ingwizi maize crop

Power cut ruins Ingwizi maize crop

power lines

Sukulwenkosi Dube, Plumtree Correspondent
ABOUT 150 hectares of maize is now a complete write off due to power cuts at Arda Ingwizi Estate for the past six weeks, the estate’s manager, Samuel Nyajeka, has said.

Nyajeka said the rains that were received recently had helped to salvage the rest of crop on the 600 hectare maize field.

He said about 20 power lines that were destroyed by heavy rains in Mangwe and Kezi areas recently were yet to be fixed.

“We had not anticipated that we would experience six weeks of disruption in power and as a result we did not have any alternative source of power to use in watering the crop. 150 hectares of the crop is now a write off and we could have recorded more damage but the rains came to our rescue.

“At the time when we received rains, the 150 hectares was already in a bad state. For the past one month and two weeks we have only had power for about two hours only,” said Nyajeka.

He said maize harvesting was expected to start in May and after that winter wheat planting would start.

Mangwe MP Obedingwa Mguni, who is also a Deputy Minister of Home Affairs, said the area was constantly experiencing power disruptions that were affecting irrigation activities.

“The estate has a total of 600 hectares under maize crop. A recent visit to the estate has shown that 150 hectares is now a complete write off. During a visit by Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa last month, some of the maize crop was in a critical state as the area had gone for two weeks without power.

“This power disruption went for a further one month which has now translated to a month and two weeks. The explanation we are getting is that pole lines are down,” said Mguni.

He said such power disruptions were unacceptable especially if they affected crucial agricultural projects which are key in fulfilling the Zim Asset goals.

He said Ingwizi estate power disruptions were being reported at Zesa offices in Gwanda and staff there were taking long to respond.

Mguni said there was a need for the administration of the area to be transferred to the Zesa office in Plumtree, which was closer.

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