*** The views expressed in the articles published on this website DO NOT necessarily express the views of the Commercial Farmers' Union. ***
100MW boost for Zim national grid
Coal output slump hits power plants
‘Electricity demand significantly down’
Electricity tariff hike will come at a huge cost
Zesa seeks approval for 14 percent tariff hike
Sadc to roll out 3 000MW of new power in 2016
ZESA seeks cost reflective power tariff
ZESA gives winter warmer cheer
US$70m power deal in limbo
US$70m power deal in limbo
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.
KARIBA WALL AND LAKE LEVELS APRIL 2016.
KARIBA WALL AND LAKE LEVELS APRIL 2016.
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.
“KARIBA, AFRICA’S BEST KEPT SECRET”.
Parly stops shady power plant deal
‘No power tariff hike’
Zesa tariff hike gets nod
Zesa renovates power evacuation system
Zimbabwe saves 110MW from pre-paid electricity meters – Zesa
Zimbabwe saves 110MW from pre-paid electricity meters – Zesa
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
Construction of Dema power plant begins
April 11, 2016
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%
Solar water heaters to save 300MW
Government should urgently address power crisis
Government should urgently address power crisis
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.
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.
Power cut ruins Ingwizi maize crop
- Dema power project ratified
- ‘No loadshedding this year’
- Batoka costs double to US$4,5 billion
- ZESA, transformers and passing burden to customers
- Kariba South expansion now 40pc complete
- 'Lake Kariba not drying up'.
- Zim to import electricity from Zambia
- ZPC to maintain Kariba power generation at 285MW
- Zim’s power situation improves
- Kariba water levels up