Commercial Farmers Union of Zimbabwe

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ZESA

Chinese firms partner govt in 1 200MW power station

Chinese firms partner govt in 1 200MW power station

September 18, 2014 

THREE Chinese firms have partnered government for the construction of 1 200 megawatts (MW) thermal power station, a move that would ease the country’s power shortages.

BUSINESS REPORTER

Shanghai Electric, Shenergy Co. Ltd and Niang Jiang Group will team up with the ministry of Energy and Power Development to set up a power station in an investment worth $5 billion.

The investment includes power generation and coal mining.

Jonathan Kadzura, Niang Jiang Southern Africa chairman said on Monday the investment was meant to address the power deficit and also export in the region.

“In Zimbabwe we have an acute shortage of power. It does not end within Zimbabwean borders, but throughout Africa,” he said.

“The country is looking for people who assist with local investments.”

Kadzura said the venture would use the abundant coal resources to generate electricity which can be exported to other countries. He said it was more expensive to export the coal than electricity.

“By the time we build the project to 1 200MW plus at least
$5 billion would have been invested in coal mining and power generation,” he said.

Zheng Jianhua president Shanghai Electric said the parties want to operate a power station in Zimbabwe.

The three Chinese firms will mobilise financial resources to build the power station. The deal does not mean that the country would be borrowing to finance the project, principal project advisor Nyasha Makuvise said.

“We are not borrowing as a country, but making sure that people come in and invest,” he said.

He said the investments would usher in a number of exports initiatives.

Shanghai Electric is a multinational power generation and electrical equipment manufacturing company headquartered in Shanghai, China.

Shenergy Company Limited is engaged in the investment, construction, operation, and management of power, and oil and gas projects. It has 18 electric power projects in various power fields, such as thermal power, gas power, hydropower, and nuclear power.

Niang Jiang has mining and industrial operations in Zimbabwe.
The country is grappling a power crisis as output is far outstripped by demand.

The country generates an average of 1 200MW daily at a time when demand can peak to 2 200MW.

Expansions work at Kariba and Hwange power stations have commenced and would be completed in 42 months.

When completed, the expansions would result in 900MW being added onto the grid.

 

Hwange fault triggers massive load-shedding

Hwange fault triggers massive load-shedding

 

September 12, 2014 in NewsDay

 

Power utility Zesa yesterday said the power outages experienced in most parts of the country were due to technical fault at Hwange Power Station.

 

Winstone Antonio

Own Correspondent

Zesa spokesman Fullard Gwasira said technicians were working round the clock to rectify the problem.

 

“We lost generation due to external system disturbance which then tripped generation of power at the station,” Gwasira said.

 

“We are expecting a phased restoration starting tonight (yesterday) and the second by tomorrow (today) and as a result of this we are no longer adhering to the load-shedding schedule.”

 

Zesa Holdings is currently in the eye of storm over increased and unscheduled load-shedding caused mainly by obsolete infrastructure.

$533m Kariba project begins •Station to generate 300MW more by 2017

$533m Kariba project begins •Station to generate 300MW more by 2017 •Move boon for Zim-Asset

President Mugabe uses a drilling rig at the ground breaking ceremony for the expansion of Kariba South Hydro Power Station in Kariba yesterday. Looking on are his son Bellarmine (centre), Energy and Power Development Minister Dzikamai Mavhaire (right) and other dignitaries.

President Mugabe uses a drilling rig at the ground breaking ceremony for the expansion of Kariba South Hydro Power Station in Kariba yesterday. Looking on are his son Bellarmine (centre), Energy and Power Development Minister Dzikamai Mavhaire (right) and other dignitaries.

Takunda Maodza in KARIBA
PRESIDENT Mugabe yesterday commissioned the construction of the US$533 million Kariba South Power Extension Project expected to generate an additional 300MW by 2017. The project had been on the cards for years with its implementation hampered by the shortageof foreign currency among other obstacles.

Development of Infrastructure and Utilities is one of the key pillars of Zim-Asset which identifies energy and power development as key enablers to productivity and socio-economic development.

Over the years, the power sector has experienced challenges largely due to dilapidated and obsolete generation equipment and infrastructure as well as inadequate financing and capitalisation and other structural bottlenecks.

The US$320 million loan extended by the Chinese government has, however, made the project a reality with the Zimbabwe Power Company weighing in with US$213 million borrowed from Development Finance Institutions.

Speaking soon after the groundbreaking ceremony, President Mugabe said he was happy that finally the project was taking shape.
“The Kariba Extension project has been on Zesa’s drawing board for a very long time. It’s coming to fruition has been hampered by many challenges which include shortage of foreign currency during the hyperinflation era. The feasibility studies for the project were eventually updated, paving the way for its completion and implementation,” President Mugabe said.

“The successful completion and commissioning of this project, Kariba South Power Station Extension, will add 300 megawatts of power to the national grid. Indeed, the project is a vital component of the Government’s strategy to meet the country’s electricity demands. It is part of our major plan to guarantee the constant and consistent supply of energy for our country.”

President Mugabe said the project entailed construction of an additional two 150MW power generating units to complement the current six 125MW generating units.

“This will increase the total capacity at the Kariba Hydro Power Station from 750MW to 1050MW. This additional capacity will serve the peak demand, significantly reducing the load shedding that we are currently experiencing,” he said.

Added President Mugabe: “Projects such as this one, do not merely bring power into our homes and workplaces, but they also empower the people of Zimbabwe. I am informed that over the four years that the project will be implemented, it will employ a total of 700 workers with the majority of the general workers drawn from local communities. To date, about 200 workers have been engaged.”

He said power projects like the Kariba Power Station Extension were an important part of Government’s goal towards an empowered society and a growing economy.

 

“Adequate power supply infrastructure, not only helps attract investors to our country but in bringing electricity to rural areas, which improves the quality of life to our rural people,” President Mugabe said.

He said hydro-power projects were costly to undertake and thanked the Chinese government for funding the extension of Kariba South through a loan facility.

“The implementation of this project is expected to cost a total of $533 million. I wish to express my sincere appreciation to the Chinese government for extending a loan of $320 million for the implementation of this project. The balance, $213 million, is provided for by Zimbabwe Power Company borrowing from Development Finance Institutions,” President Mugabe said.

“We also need hydro projects such as Batoka and Devils Gorge on the Zambezi River, Gairezi, Tokwe Mukosi, Kondo, as well as other small hydros, on both existing and proposed national dams. I understand that through such small hydro projects, we can generate a total of 5000MW nationwide. Such a development would provide the nation with additional and cheaper electricity for both industry and commerce, and as a result, attract investment to Zimbabwe. We certainly should actively pursue this line of action.”

President Mugabe said Government recognised the key role the energy sector plays as an economic enabler.
“For this reason, we have taken great steps to create an environment where participation in the power sector and state owned companies, such as the Zimbabwe Power Company. The regulatory framework, and the requisite statutes, are in place. This has seen development of power generation projects by Independent Power Producers (IPPs), who, I am advised, are already providing power from small hydro power station generation plants,” he said.

President Mugabe warned that delays in the implementation of public projects as has been the case in the past would not be tolerated.
“I, however, would like to observe that implementation of public projects has, in the past, been characterised by inefficiency, delays, and lack of commitment, which, cumulatively, have often compromised the cost-effectiveness of the projects. This cannot be allowed to continue. Zimbabwe values the dependable supply of electricity from Kariba Power Station, which has supported the nation’s economy over the past five decades,” he said.

President Mugabe urged the Ministry of Energy and Power Development to ensure the Kariba South Extension project is well executed and applauded the Zambezi River Authority for the rehabilitation of flood gates and the remodeling of the plunge pool to ensure it does not become a threat to the integrity of the dam wall.

He bemoaned the theft and vandalism of electricity infrastructure saying it was a blow to efforts by Government to provide uninterrupted power.

“We are, however, concerned that of late, theft and vandalism of electricity infrastructure has been escalated. Thus, as we try to increase power generation and extend the national grid, some elements in our society are hell bent on taking us back. The most effective way of combating this scourge is social policing. Communities must report the perpetrators of such crimes to the police and other security agents, and the courts must take a dim view of such crimes as provided for in our existing law. Deterrent sentences must be handed down,” he said.

Energy and Power Development Minister Dzikamai Mavhaire said the construction of Kariba South Power Station Extension would help alleviate power outages.

Several Government officials among them Senior Minister of State Cde Simon Khaya Moyo and Chinese ambassador to Zimbabwe Mr Lin Lin attended the ground breaking ceremony.

ZPC seeks approval to sell 80MW

ZPC seeks approval to sell 80MW

via ZPC seeks approval to sell 80MW | The Herald 26 August 2014

The Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) is seeking regulatory approval to sell 80MW of electricity to large off takers for a certain period in order to raise additional funding for the expansion of Kariba South power plant.
Chinese firm, Sino Hydro, won the contract to expand the country’s second largest power station by 300 megawatts. The project will cost about $355 million, with Government supplementing 10 percent of the total cost, which is about $35 million.

A ground-breaking ceremony to mark commencement of construction is expected to be held next month.
The Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority (Zera) said the proposal by ZPC had been made in terms of section 40 of the Electricity Act.

“Notice is hereby given that Zera has received an application from ZPC to sell 80MW of power at a load factor of 50 percent to large consumers,” it said in a statement.
“The sale of the 80MW capacity will be done under a power purchase agreement between ZPC and large off takers to raise additional funds for the Kariba South Extension project.”

Zimbabwe is currently facing power shortages as national power demand at peak periods is estimated at 2 200MW against available generation of about 1 200MW with the shortfall being imported from regional power utilities.

But Government, through ZPC, has embarked on several projects to bridge the power deficit through expanding existing power stations and building new ones. For example plans are also in place to add two units at Hwange Thermal Power Station, which would have a combined generation capacity of 600 megawatts.

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

Zesa tightens tariffs

Zesa tightens tariffs

August 25, 2014 

THE Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company (ZETDC), a subsidiary of Zesa Holdings, is next week set to re-introduce stepped pre-payment tariffs for domestic consumers to replace the current flat rate.

CHIEF REPORTER

ZETDC said customers risked losing their $0,02 monthly life line if they exhausted purchased units within a month.

“In its award of the 2014 electricity tariffs, the Zimbabwe Energy Regularity Authority (Zera) has directed the re-introduction of a stepped pre-payment tariff for domestic consumers to replace the current flat rate with effect from 1st September,” ZETDC said.

The first 50-kilowatt-hour (kwh)would be billed at 2c per unit while those who consume between 51kwh and 300kwh are charged at 11 cents per unit.

Those who exceed the 300 units are charged at a higher charge of 15c per unit.

“The introduction of the stepped domestic payment tariff will now require consumers to use electricity more efficiently.

“Heavy domestic users will pay more for their consumption.
“In every calendar month, customers are afforded a life line rate of $0,02 for first 50kwh.

“The next 250kwh (51 to 300kwh) in the same calendar month is charged at $0,11 and the balance in excess of 300kmw within same calendar month will be charged at $0,15.”

The power utility said the life line is applicable within each calendar month.

If a customer buys $28,50 worth of electricity, the units would be $1 for first 50kwh and $27,50 for 51-300kwh.

“If the same customer comes for a second purchase within the same month using the same amount of money ($28,50) the customers will get 190kwh and not 300kwh as in the first purchase of that month.
“This is because at second purchase, the customer will have exhausted the life line benefit.”

Zesa rolled out prepaid meters in 2011 to encourage the efficient use of electricity in the wake of demand outstripping generation capacity.

As outlined in ZimAsset, the government’s economic policy blueprint, Zimbabwe has a target of installing 800 000 prepaid meters by the end of this year.

To date 377 552 have already been installed by Solahart, ZTE (a Chinese company), Finmark and Nyamazela of South Africa.
An additional 300 000 meters are supposed to be installed by the end of this year.

 

 

Sable Chemicals faces electricity challenges

Sable Chemicals faces electricity challenges

August 25, 2014 

THE country’s sole ammonium nitrate fertiliser producer, Sable Chemicals, is currently operating at below 40% because of wrangles involving a $30 million debt to Zesa Holdings.

BLESSED MHLANGA

The power utility, which in the past resorted to switching off Sable Chemicals completely over the debt, is reported to have significantly reduced power supplies to the Kwekwe-based plant forcing the company to shut down some of its electrolysis units.

Sources at the company told NewsDay that Sable Chemicals, which has 14 electrolysis units, was operating only four because of limited power supplies owing to the tiff over the debt.

“We have 14 units; four are down and need major maintenance work, but the other 10 can go online if we are given adequate power supplies by Zesa. Currently, the power we get from Zesa is sufficient to operate only four units,” said the source.

Sable Chemicals needs 115 megawatts (MW) per hour to run its plant at 100%, but the company says it is only getting 40MW per hour, which is only sufficient to power four units.

“We would need 92MW of power to put all 10 units on line with each unit producing 1 400 cubic metres of hydrogen per hour. If the power problem is solved, we would be able to produce 14 000 cubic metres of hydrogen an hour. The situation is better because there is no total shutdown of the plant like what was happening in the past,” said the source.

Sable Chemicals chief executive officer Jack Murehwa was not immediately available for comment, but has previously conceded that the company was facing challenges over the power debt.

Sable Chemicals buys power from Zesa at subsidised rates with the difference supposed to be settled by government.

Murehwa has on several occasions indicated that his company religiously paid its portion and urged the power utility to approach government for payment of the other part.

 

Harare lawyer Tendai Masawi has already filed a High Court application seeking to attach Sable Chemicals’ property over the debt.

‘Kariba South Power Station fees to balloon’

‘Kariba South Power Station fees to balloon’

via ‘Kariba South Power Station fees to balloon’ – DailyNews Live 21 July 2014 by Kudzai Chawafambira

HARARE – ZESA Holdings (Zesa) says the total cost of completing the expansion of the Kariba South Power Station will balloon to around $539 million from the budgeted $380 million.

The power utility’s chief executive Josh Chifamba (pictured) told the Mines and Energy parliamentary portfolio committee last Monday that the funding that they were getting from China’s Sino Hydro Corporation (SHC) only covers 85 percent of the cost.

“So that $380 million we are talking about, will be 85 percent of the cost of bringing cement, equipment, generators and auxiliary plant among others things.

“The other 15 percent is what we have to raise. When we are doing this and because actually get money from the bank, we should pay interest on the amount we would have borrowed.

“By the time we roll up those costs the total project would have cost more,” he said.

Chifamba added that they had to raise $150 million as equity funds and that the total cost of completing the Kariba expansion project would reach up to $539 million.

“Lenders also want to know that you are taking the risk and putting a skin to it,” he said.

This comes as SHC has already moved construction equipment from Zambia to commence operations on the Zimbabwean side of the Kariba dam wall.

SHC won the tender for the $380 million project, the bulk of which will be funded by Export Import Bank of China under a deal signed with the Zimbabwe government.

Early this year Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa said that the SHC was already in situ at the construction site.

“As you know, this Chinese contractor has just finished constructing Kariba North for the Republic of Zambia and they are just moving across the border to do the same on our side to create an additional 300 megawatts,” said Chinamasa.

On completion, the power station’s output will be boosted to 1050 megawatts (MW) from the current 750MW.
The project is expected to be complete by 2017.

Government secured funding for the project, after signing a $380 million deal with the Chinese multi-lateral financial institution late last year with Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) expected to contribute 15 percent of the total cost of the expansion exercise.

At present, ZPC — a subsidiary of power utility Zesa Holdings — is generating between 1 300 and 1 400 MW against a daily national demand of 2 200MW.

This comes as Zimbabwe requires $5,8 billion to finance power generation projects which will increase output to a total of 6600 megawatts.

Government is currently seeking to partner regional power utilities and private investors in new energy projects, as part of efforts to boost its electricity supply.

In 2007, the country partnered Namibia’s NamPower to refurbish Hwange Power Station.

Chifamba noted that of the 150 MW in export to Namibia for the service of a $40 million loan used to rehabilitate Hwange by NamPower, ZPC was left with about 10 months supply to the neighbouring country.

Another long-standing initiative is the Batoka Gorge project for four 200 megawatt power generators in the next six years.

This massive scheme along the Zambezi River is projected to cost $2,2 billion.

Work on Batoka Gorge in terms of bidding stages for a comprehensive environmental and social impact assessment and an engineering feasibility study will be concluded by March next year.

Other proposed projects are the Gairezi hydropower station in Nyanga; an extension of the generation life cycle at Hwange; the upgrading of Deka pipeline; repowering schemes at Harare, Munyati and Bulawayo power stations, and a coal-bed methane project in Matabeleland North.

The country has five power stations, namely Kariba and four thermal power stations — Bulawayo, Harare, Hwange and Munyati.

Kariba is currently generating 37,28 percent, Hwange 28,67 percent, Bulawayo 1,2 percent, Munyati 1,4 percent and Harare 0,4 percent while imports contribute 13,22 percent while 17,69 percent represents the shortfall.

Bulawayo Power Station shut down

Bulawayo Power Station shut down

via Bulawayo Power Station shut down | Radio Dialogue  14 July 2014 by Lesley Moyo

The Zimbabwe Power Company has shut down Bulawayo Power Station to pave way for investigations to establish the source of a strange smoke in one of the generators.

The station has an installed capacity of 90 MW but only feed an average of 20 MW into the national grid.

“Station was shut down on 10/07/14 at 1325hrs due to smoke that was observed on generator 3 alternator casing. Investigations to establish the source of the smoke are in progress,” ZPC said in a statement.

According to ZPC, boiler 5 is on statutory inspection with boiler 7, 8, 9 on standby.

“Generator 3 (was) taken out due to smoke coming from alternator side. Investigations are in progress. Generator 4 commissioning tests and slip ring polishing in progress,” it added.

Bulawayo station was mothballed for more than 10 years and brought back to service in 2011 when power shortages intensified.

Zimbabwe has two other small thermal power stations in Harare and Munyati near Kwekwe in central Zimbabwe.

Like other power stations, the Bulawayo station’s generating capacity has been constrained by aging equipment.

In 2013, ZPC approached Indian government to fund refurbishment of the thermal power station.

The thermal power station was commissioned in the 1950s as an undertaking by the Bulawayo municipality. It was transferred to the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority in 1987 after the amalgamation of all the local authority electricity undertakings, the Electricity Supply Commission, thermal power stations at Munyati and Hwange and the Central African Power Corporation station at Kariba.

Unbundling of Zesa business units has resulted in the plant falling under ZPC.

Zesa exports 150MW of power to Namibia

Zesa exports 150MW of power to Namibia

 

July 15th, 2014

 

JAIROS SAUNYAMA - 

Zesa Holdings will for the next 10 months be exporting power to Namibia as part of settling the $40m debt acquired from NamPower in 2009.

Zesa Holdings chief executive Josh Chifamba told the parliamentary portfolio committee on Mines and Energy chaired by Gutu Central legislator Lovemore Matuke 0n Monday that Zesa is exporting 150MW of electricity to Namibia as a form of payment.

“We got in 2009 a total of $40m from the Namibian power company NamPower. That money has since been paid wholly but it had another term to it, there was a requirement that we should supply 150MW of power over the subsistence of the loan,” he said.

The country is currently unable to generate enough power to meet demand, which peaks at around 2 200MW against generation capacity of around 1 400MW.

Speaking on how Zesa is exporting power at night, the  power utility boss said the issue was reported negatively by the media.

“On the issue of power exports at night, I think it was portrayed negatively by some quarters of the press but actually there is nothing negative about it.

“The issue is that demand comes down at night, normally demand peaks in the morning and evening, so we can make some opportunity sales. The problem with power is that you cannot store it,” he added.

Zimbabwe is facing an acute energy deficit, which has prompted Zesa to introduce load shedding.

Zesa Holdings is in the process of expanding Kariba South power plant in an effort to increase power generation by at least 300 MW and Hwange Thermal Power Station so that it produces 600 MW.

The expansion at the two power plants will see Zimbabwe producing about 2500 MW against a peak demand of 2200 MW.

Power crisis hits dairy industry

Power crisis hits dairy industry

via Power crisis hits dairy industry – DailyNews Live 14 July 2014 by Ndakaziva Majaka

HARARE -  Zimbabwe’s dairy industry is losing nearly $100 000 in potential revenue annually due to excessive power outages currently rocking the country, a recent study has revealed.

According to the Zimbabwe Economic Policy Analysis and Research Unit (Zeparu) report on Agro-Industries/Food and Beverages Value Chain, the country has been producing around 50 million litres per year against a combined capacity to produce about 400 million litres annually.

Zimbabwe’s national milk demand is estimated at 240 million litres. The land-locked country currently generates approximately 1 300 megawatts (MW) against peak demand of around 2 200 MW.

“The product losses resulting from the power outages are estimated at a maximum of 2,5 percent of total production,” Zeparu said in the report, adding that milk processors are “under capacitated”.

The think tank said a litre of milk is going for an average $1,45, which is more expensive than imported milk.

It said Zimbabwe’s dairy industry was fairly well developed with seven major processors and over 20 smaller processors. Major milk processors in the country include listed Dairibord Zimbabwe Holdings Limited, Alpha Omega Dairy and Dendairy.

They produce yoghurt, cheese, powdered milk, milk-based beverages, ice cream and liquid milk — pasteurised and UHT milk.

“The overall capacity utilisation is below 50 percent mainly due to low supplies of raw milk from the farms,” Zeparu said.

“Milk output from the farms has been declining over the years,” Zeperu said.

According to the study, this has led to decline in capacity utilisation and thus impacting negatively on production costs and price to the final consumer and the influx of imports from neighbouring countries, for example Zambia and South Africa.

Massive load-shedding begins

Massive load-shedding begins

Load sheddingFelex Share Herald Reporter
Many Zimbabwean football lovers will miss FIFA 2014 Soccer World Cup matches because of increased load shedding, with the latest schedule published by Zesa showing that some areas will be without power almost daily.
The World Cup begins in Brazil tomorrow.

Businesses have not been spared from the load-shedding as demand for power soars during winter.

Eastern suburbs like Mandlay Park, Ruwa, Chadcombe, Epworth, Queensdale and Msasa Park, which fall in the H14 category of the load shedding schedule, are going for up to 16 hours without electricity.

The situation is the same for western high-density suburbs like Warren Park, Glen Norah, Mufakose and Kambuzuma.

Other areas will go for nine hours without electricity daily.

In a statement yesterday, Zesa said the country’s maximum demand reached 1 800MW in winter, against generating capacity of between 1 350MW and 1 400MW.

“To this end, Zesa has put in place measures to boost power generation and reduce consumption to minimise load shedding.

“In spite of the measures power supply shortfalls will still be experienced.

“It should be noted that the published schedules should be treated as a guide since power supply and demand are dynamic,” the utility said.

Zesa said major referral hospitals and sewer installations, national security establishments, key airports and broadcasting stations would be exempted from load shedding.

 

“In addition, winter wheat irrigation will receive additional support in the 2014 season to ensure the success of the crop,” Zesa said.

“Consumers are being called upon to play their part in reducing demand by using the available power sparingly. All non-essential loads and appliances should be switched off at all times. Non-essential lights and office equipment should be switched off overnight.”

Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries president Mr Charles Msipa said load-shedding would disrupt efforts to revive capacity utilisation.

“While we understand that Zesa has a difficult task in balancing demand and power generation they should also put at the forefront the industry and manufacturing sector,” he said.

“Many of them are trying against all odds to retain and built market exports and these outages will have a negative impact. They should always consult first not just pick what they think are strategic areas as they leave other areas as they did.”

Residents said Zesa should do more on power generation.

“What pains most is that this is coming a few days before the World Cup,” said Mr Tinashe Tiki of Glen Norah.

“Everyone has been counting down towards this only to read that we will not have power when exciting matches will be played.”

Mr Paymore Mbidzo said load-shedding was unfair as some areas appeared favoured.

Zesa said it was considering installing new boiler technologies for its three thermal power stations in Harare, Bulawayo and Munyati to reduce the power deficit.

The stations are hardly in use as they require a special type of coal from Hwange to fire them.

The new technologies will allow use of different types of coal obtainable from areas closer to the stations.

The project will give the country 240MW.

Faults at Power Stations Trigger countrywide blackout

Faults at Power Stations Trigger countrywide blackout

blackHerald Reporter
Electricity supplies were disrupted throughout the country yesterday following faults experienced at the country’s three major power stations. Zesa Holdings said in a statement that the power stations affected were Kariba Hydro-Power Station, Hwange Power Station and Harare Power Station. The cause of the power failure was yet to be ascertained, although Zesa Holdings spokesperson Mr Fullard Gwasira said in a statement that it was caused by “a power system disturbance that originated from outside the country’s borders”.

He said electricity distribution was affected throughout the country.

Technicians were battling to restore normal supplies by yesterday and many areas were expected to receive normal supplies soon.

 

Only Bulawayo and Munyati thermal power stations were not affected by the technical fault, but they do not have capacity to sufficiently power the country.

Hwange Power Station has the installed capacity of 920 mega watts to the national grid, while Kariba Hydro-Power Station can provide 750 mega watts, with Harare Power Station managing only 90 mega watts.

Zesa Holdings’ subsidiary, the Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company, has been carrying out planned shutdowns to allow allow maintenance work in most of parts of the country.

The situation has been worsened by the winter season where there is huge demand for electricity.

Areas in Masvingo, Harare and Manicaland provinces were recently affected by such a shutdown.

Zimbabwe affords only 1 300 megawatts of power against a demand of 2 200 megawatts during the peak season like winter.

Zesa Holdings has since embarked on massive power blackouts throughout the country to help serve electricity.

Power outage hits capital

Power outage hits capital

 
 

A POWER outage affected Harare and some parts of the country yesterday bringing business to a standstill for several hours.

WINSTONE ANTONIO

Power went off at around 8:30 in the morning and was only reconnected around midday. This forced many businesses around the country to resort to generators.

ZESA Holdings (Zesa) spokesman Fullard Gwasira said the blackout was a result of a technical problem at one of the power utility’s stations in Kariba.

“We had a system disturbance on the national grid, but all the generators at Kariba station were restored,” Gwasira said.

“At Hwange Power Station, we are expecting that they will finish servicing some of the generators today (yesterday).”

This is not the first time the city and some parts of the country have gone for hours without electricity due to technical faults.

Power supply not guaranteed: #Zimbabwe

Power supply not guaranteed: #Zimbabwe | The Herald

via Power supply not guaranteed: Govt | The Herald March 18, 2014 by Tendai Mugabe and Daniel Kachere

Minister Mavhaire

Energy and Power Development Minister Dzikamai Mavhaire says he cannot guarantee the nation of adequate power supplies to ensure successful implementation of Zim-Asset, especially in terms of the economic blueprint’s value addition and beneficiation clusters.
Minister Mavhaire said major projects like Batoka Hydro Power Plant on the Zambezi River and expansion of Hwange Power Station would only be complete well after the Zim-Asset target in 2018.

Addressing students taking Joint Command and Staff Course Number 27 at Zimbabwe Staff College in Harare yesterday, Minister Mavhaire said   “Zim-Asset is not the end of Zimbabwe”.

He was presenting a paper on the prospects and challenges towards developing energy capacity to meet the demands of the Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio-Economic Transformation.

“Is the nation going to have adequate power to implement programmes under the Zim-Asset?” he asked.

“I cannot answer this question with a resounding yes, as I will not be truthful to you. What I can say is the situation will have drastically improved by 2018.

“Staff officers, Zim-Asset is not the end of Zimbabwe, there will be life after Zim-Asset. We have already started planning for the period after Zim-Asset, with plans at an

advanced stage for the construction of Batoka Hydro Plant on the Zambezi River and expansion of Hwange Power Station.”

Zim-Asset, which is the Government’s economic blueprint guiding its policies from 2013 to 2018 identified energy as an enabler for achieving maximum output expected from beneficiation of the country’s resources.

Minister Mavhaire raised a cocktail of challenges which he said contributed to power outages over recent months.

“I want you to go out and explain to your relatives and friends that the major causes of what we are experiencing is because power projects are capital intensive, with even a small power generating plant requiring several hundred million dollars,” he said.

“Local funding is inadequate — we have to look for external loans. People are not paying their dues and sanctions led to non-procurement of critical spare parts.”

Minister Mavhaire also blamed vandalism of infrastructure and brain drain as contributory to erratic power supplies.

He said Zimbabwe was experiencing power shortages despite its vast resources that could be used to improve the situation.

Minister Mavhaire said the country had 12 billion tonnes of coal reserves and vast reserves of methane gas, capable of being used to generate electricity.

He said the country’s thermal power stations were operating below capacity because of illegal Western sanctions imposed on the country a decade ago.

Minister Mavhaire urged people to use renewable sources of energy such as solar power, while Government and experts explored wind turbine technology possibilities.

In the meantime, Minister Mavhaire said his ministry was instituting measures to improve electricity generation, such as licensing independent power producers.

Minister Mavhaire said Government was expanding two units at Kariba Power Station, with the first one expected to be commissioned in 2017.

When complete, Minister Mavhaire said, this would feed an additional 300 megawatts into the national grid.

He said they were also negotiating for more electricity imports depending on availability in the region.

Turning to fossil fuels, Minister Mavhaire said the state of the pipeline linking Beira in Mozambique and Msasa in Harare posed a major threat to uninterrupted supplies.

In this regard, he said, it was important to have a second pipeline.

When asked if he had voiced his concerns to Zanu-PF’s Politburo or Cabinet before Zim-Asset was adopted, Minister Mavhaire directed The Herald to make a written request for an interview through his   secretary.

China Africa to complete coal mine, 300MW power plant in 2016

China Africa to complete coal mine, 300MW power plant in 2016

via China Africa to complete coal mine, 300MW power plant in 2016 | The Source March 13, 2014

China Africa Sunlight Energy says it will complete its coal mine and a 300 megawatt power station at its concessions in Gwayi, Matabeleland North  by 2016, creating over 4,500 jobs.

Addressing delegates at a Parliament seminar on Thursday, the company’s deputy general manager Charles Mugari said as part of the first phase of the project, the company will build a modern residential complex for 2,000 workers, a coal mine and power plant.

“By 2016 we hope that the mine will be up and running,” he said, adding that the company was converting its special grant to a special mining right.

He said second phase of the power project will focus on methane gas extraction and another 300MW plant to be completed in mid-2017.

The company intends to establish another 400MW plant powered by methane gas.

China Africa is a 50/50 joint venture between Zimbabwe’s Old Stone Investments and Shandong Taishan Sunlight of China, plans to  spend $2.1 billion in the next five years on power generation, coal mining and methane bed gas extraction in  Matabeleland north.

“We have embarked on a very comprehensive exploration process  and by end of this year we will know exactly the minable reserves of methane gas,” he said.

Mugari said the projects, which would be carried out on 100,000 hectares of land would create 4,500 jobs in the next two years in a country where over 80 percent of the adult working population is unemployed.

The company is also planning to build  hotels and business complexes.

“This is going to be the beginning of the creation of an economic zone which will attract more foreign direct investment,” he said.

China Africa will also establish a coking plant for coal required in processing of steel.

Mugari said they had entered into a power purchasing agreement with Zimbabwe Electricity Distribution Company (ZETDC)  although tariffs were being finalised.

A transmission arrangement with the Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority had also been agreed upon.

“We have also completed our environment impact assessment  for the mine and right now we are working on the EIA for the power generation and the documents are with the Environment Management Agency,” he said.

The company is also working with the water ministry to assist in the construction of the Gwayi-Shangani dam which it seeks to benefit from.

Mugari urged Parliament to come up with conducive legislation that encourages foreign direct investment and for government to harmonise its licencing regulations.

On Wednesday another company, Shangani Energy Exploration (SEE), said it has plans for $780 million gas project and build a 400 megawatt power station in the same area.

Zimbabwe hit by power cuts after fault at major plant

Zimbabwe hit by power cuts after fault at major plant

via Zimbabwe hit by power cuts after fault at major plant | Reuters Feb 27, 2014

Zimbabwe has been hit by severe electricity outages following a breakdown at a power plant that accounts for about half its national production, state utility ZESA said on Thursday.

Homes and businesses have suffered rolling blackouts, known as load-shedding, for up to eight hours in the last couple of days, paralysing industry and mining in the southern African country and damaging an already fragile economy.

“There will be an increase in load-shedding until the situation returns to normal,” ZESA said in a statement.

Hwange thermal power station in the northwest of the country, which produces 500-600 MW of power, had halted production due to a “fault that caused a malfunction,” it added.

Lack of fresh investment has left the former British colony relying on ageing plants and a worn out grid, resulting in frequent faults and blackouts.

Harare has licenced independent producers to complement ZESA’s output, but most of the projects are yet to take off because of concerns over investment laws that are compelling foreigners to transfer majority stakes to local blacks.

Zimbabwe produces 1,200 MW of electricity, most of it from Hwange and a hydropower station on the Kariba dam. It also imports 600 MW from Zambia, Mozambique and the Democratic Republic of the Congo to meet current demand. (Reporting By Cris Chinaka; Editing by Ed Cropley)

Consumers owe Zesa $818 million

Consumers owe Zesa $818 million

via Consumers owe Zesa $818 million – DailyNews Live by John Kachembere

National power utility Zesa Holdings (Zesa) says it is owed $818 million by consumers — including government, domestic and commercial users.

It said the unpaid bills were hampering its operations and viability.

Last week, Zimbabwe Electricity Distribution Company (ZETDC) — a Zesa subsidiary — told a stakeholders’ meeting that the defaults were a major cause of the increased load shedding.

“If we had our way, we would have switched off everyone who owes us and it’s provided for in the law. However, the powers-that-be do not allow us to cut off defaulters and they have good reasons for that,” a ZETDC official said.

Figures released by ZETDC indicate that government owes the parastatal $15,8 million while local authorities, mining companies, commercial and domestic consumers owe $147,9 million, $140,3 million, $118 million and $276 million respectively.

On the other hand, farmers and other parastatals owe ZETDC $55,3 million and $23,5 million respectively.

The distribution company, which has over the years found it difficult to deliver its services efficiently due to vandalism and unpaid bills, said it was seeking a five percent tariff increase to help improve its operations.

“The said average expenditure has been than the average tariff awarded. Hence the tariffs we have been awarded in the past have not been sufficient to sustain the minimum activities of the utility,” said the ZETDC official.

The country’s electricity tariffs are currently pegged at 9,86 cents per kWh and are likely to be increased to 10,36 cents per kWh.

A tariff of 9,83 cents per kWh was awarded in 2009, but was reversed and replaced by a 7,53 cents per kWh in February 2009.

There was no tariff hike in 2010 while a 9,83 cents per kWh raise was approved for 2011.

However, the Consumer Council of Zimbabwe (CCZ) said there was no justification for the State-owned power utility, to increase tariffs due to lack of improvement in service delivery.

“Over the years we have not seen an improvement in power generation but increases in tariffs to consumers,” said Phillip Bvumbe, the CCZ chairperson.

Zimbabwe needs about  2 200MW of electricity at peak but generates just 1 300MW, importing the remainder.

The southern African country is currently introducing pre-paid meters to improve it’s the power utility’s revenue and avoid resorting to charges based on estimates.

In 2012, Zesa handed out more than 5,5 million power-saving fluorescent light bulbs to households across the country to curb consumption.

Industry experts however argue that there is need for investments to be made in order to increase the amount of reliable capacity.

“The increase in reliable capacity should be made available at a competitive price,” Douglas Chingoka, the Zimbabwe Power Company corporate executive assistant.

Gloria Magombo, the Zera chief executive said her organisation will deliberate on the tariff application, interrogate the costs of production of electricity and come up with a tariff that will ensure viability of the electricity supply industry but also affordable to all customers.

“It is also important to note that tariff application does not necessarily result in tariff increase.

“Several factors are taken into consideration before a final determination is made,” she said.

CCZ demands Zesa bosses’ pay schedule

CCZ demands Zesa bosses’ pay schedule | The Herald

via CCZ demands Zesa bosses’ pay schedule | The Herald February 7, 2014

The Consumer Council of Zimbabwe has demanded to see the salary schedule for top management at zesa Holdings in the wake of the parastatal’s proposal for an upward review of 5 percent in electricity tariffs against what they termed poor service delivery. Speaking at a stakeholder consultative meeting hosted by the Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority in Harare yesterday, CCZ national chairman Mr Phillip Bvumbe said the consumer protection body would only embrace a tariff increase after they are convinced management was not abusing the parastatal’s funds.

“As a consumer group we feel zesa is a public institution and that the salary schedule of top management be availed to us because since the 2006 tariff review paper that was presented to stakeholders by ZETDC on the pricing of electricity they have not been any notable changes in costing to date.”

“It is against this background that we feel the proposed hike might not be justified hence our demand to see their salary structure,” he said.
However, a ZETDC official argued that although they have proposed a 5 percent upward review since it is inflation related, this year the cost reflective tariff requires a 16 percent increase since a cost of supply study indicates an average tariff of US14,2 cents per kilowatt hour.

“Over the past 5 years we have had only one significant tariff increase while average expenditure has been higher than the average tariff awarded. Tariffs awarded are therefore not sufficient to sustain the minimum activities of the utility,” he said.

A tariff of US9, 83c per kilowatt hour was awarded in 2009, but was reversed and replaced by a US7,53c/kWh in February 2009. There was no tariff hike in 2010 while a US9, 83c/kWh raise was approved for 2011.

Zera chief executive, Eng Gloria Magombo said consultations were ongoing to consider the ZETDC 5 percent tariff hike proposal.

Electricity generation key to platinum refinery

Electricity generation key to platinum refinery

via Electricity generation key to platinum refinery | The Financial Gazette by Shame Makoshori 5 Feb 2014

BILLIONS of dollars required to set up a local platinum refinery could go to waste if government, which has been pushing mines to fast-track the project, fails to assess the real implications of its political decision, analysts have warned.Government, cash-strapped and battling to increase revenues to fund operations, appears to have thrown away all caution, threatening platinum producers with massive penalties unless a refinery is put in place in two years.
Zimbabwe has to invest in additional power generation, for instance, before initiating construction of a platinum refinery, as current power shortages crippling industries are an indication of declining capacity.

Electricity generation should therefore be increased to support any planned project that guzzles power, say analysts.
The construction of a refinery in Zimbabwe would require additional power generation of between 100 and 150 megawatts, according to a note prepared by the Platinum Producers Association, whose membership includes Zimplats, the country’s largest platinum producer, as well as Mimosa Mining Company and Unki Platinum.
Basic infrastructure such as roads, dams, housing and other amenities would have to be built, while additional resources would have to be poured into the modification of existing facilities before rolling out refineries.

“There are power cuts in Zimbabwe, additional generation capacity must be in place,” said John Robertson, an independent economist.
Robertson said given the extent of the requirements, the tight deadlines imposed by government would be difficult to meet.
“They will not do it in three to four years,” he said.

“Platinum mines know that there is no need to build a refinery because they are charged small amounts to process in South Africa,” he said.
The process of extracting metals associated with Platinum Group Metals (PGMs) starts at mining, concentration, which is the crushing and flotation, smelting, Base Metal Refining (BMR), recovery of base metals such as nickel, copper, cobalt and precious metal refinery among others.

In Zimbabwe, only a few stages of the process are carried out, and semi-processed output is shipped to South Africa for refinery.
Debate on whether or not to set up a refinery has also revolved around the feasibility of the plant, given Zimbabwe’s history with refineries.
The country hosts one of Africa’s largest copper processing plants at Alaska, which has been lying idle since global copper prices slid in the 1990s, leading to the closure of Mhangura and other copper operations.

The Alaska plant, which was later used to process copper from southern African producers, remains closed even after massive recovery of the industry across the region, where Zimbabwe has failed to tap into existing opportunities to resume production.
Then there is the Empress Nickel Refinery, which is likely to lie idle for some time following the collapse of the country’s nickel mines, while Africa’s largest integrated steel production plant, the Zimbabwe Iron and Steel Company, has been inactive for many years.
A platinum refinery costing at least US$2 billion could fall into the same predicament, with the massive investments going down the drain if political decisions take precedence over business and economic consideration, analysts warned.

But government has been advocating value addition in Zimbabwe, warning that heavy taxes would be imposed on the exportation of semi processed platinum.
It would be difficult for Zimbabwe to attract the scope and scale of investment needed for the refinery, given a recent standoff between government and Zimplats, which drifted into a public spat after government shifted goal posts on initial agreements. One of the agreements related to Zimplats’ tax requirements, which the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority later ignored and proceeded to demand payment.
Will investors warm up to a deal that will guarantee them minority shareholding in compliance with the country’s tough empowerment laws even after pouring the entire capital?
“If government was to offer them 51 percent shareholding now before building the refinery, then they would go ahead,” said Robertson.
A note from the Platinum Producers Association said; “It definitely makes economic sense to value add our products. The benefit will be advantageous from downstream industries and savings from toll treatment fees”.

“It should be noted that currently there is no smelter or BMR which can accommodate the current PGM materials without expansion and or technical modification of any existing unit.”

“Facilities will be built not only for current production but for future requirements. The producers have submitted a detailed proposal to the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development for the establishment of these value addition units.”

Even within government, there appears to be diverse opinion to government’s current plan, with Mines and Mining Development Deputy Minister, Fred Moyo, a veteran mining administrator and former Hwange Colliery Company Limited managing director, indicating recently that the timeframes were unworkable.
“I am not sure if it will be possible to achieve that deadline since we are left with just one year,” he was quoted as saying.

“This depends on technology, funding availability, skills and as well as timing. We are producing around 400 000 ounces but setting up a refinery (for platinum mines) may cost a billion, US$2 billion, but this is dependent on our production levels,” he said.

US$528 000 salary for ZESA advisor

US$528 000 salary for ZESA advisor

via US$528 000 salary for ZESA advisor | The Financial Gazette by Phillimon Mhlanga 5 Feb 2014

AS the salaries scandal in Zimbabwe’s cash-strapped parastatals deepens, the Financial Gazette can reveal that Dennis Magaya, a business strategy consultant who was controversially appointed by State-owned ZESA Holdings’ subsidiary Powertel Communications in 2012, is earning a monthly salary of about US$44 000.
This comes at a time when workers at the company are grappling with low salaries, with peers in other ZESA units earning far less than what Magaya is taking home.
Documents seen by this newspaper indicate that the government-owned internet services provider engaged Magaya on a fixed-term contract which commenced on September 1, 2012. The contract will run up to August 31, 2015.Magaya is currently pocketing a monthly salary of US$25 176,64 plus a bonus of US$18 610,12  which translates into an annual amount of US$528 000. He is entitled to this package up to August this year, and will be eligible to an upward review that could run up to the end of his contract.
Previously, Magaya was earning a monthly salary of US$26 000 and a bonus of US$13 140,59 under phase one of his contract which ran from September 1, 2012 to August 31, 2013.
Phase two of the contract, which runs from September 1, 2014 to August 31, 2015,  will see Magaya earning a monthly salary of US$24 145,01 and a monthly bonus of US$20 231. The contract is currently in phase two.

Magaya was engaged by the company to implement a five-year business plan he drafted for Powertel through his company, Rubiem Technologies.
Sources with intimate knowledge of what transpired said Magaya’s appointment was fast tracked by ZESA’s group chief executive officer, Josh Chifamba, and board chairman Francis Chirimuuta, in clear defiance of a State Procurement Board (SPB) resolution that had rebuffed the appointment of Rubiem Technologies.

To avoid conflict of interest, SPB said Magaya and his company could not take part in the implementation of the strategic plan which he had drafted.After SPB turned down the power utility’s request to engage Rubiem Technologies, ZESA decided to engage Magaya in his individual capacity, arguing that its subsidiary would generate millions of dollars in revenue through the provision of data carrier, mobile internet and connectivity services through his assistance.
His appointment sucked in former finance director, Warner Mtisi, who doubled up as the company secretary. Mtisi was fired two days prior to Magaya signing his contract on September 7, 2012 after he resisted the move to appoint Magaya on such a hefty package.

Former managing director, Samuel Maminimini was also sacked after he questioned some irregularities on the issue.
It is, however, understood that Mtisi has since won his case at the labour court although Chifamba is said to have appealed against the court ruling.
Magaya, who was in South Africa when contacted by the Financial Gazette on Tuesday, was unwilling to discuss the issue, saying the managing director, Patrick Chivaura, was well-placed to do so.

“I can’t comment on the issue now,” said Magaya. “Give me a call in 30 minutes or you can contact the managing director (Chivaura) for more details.”
No comment could be obtained from Chivaura as he was said to be in a meeting.
The Financial Gazette could not immediately establish how much the managing director was earning as efforts to get clarification on the issue were fruitless.
Some sources, however, said Chivaura was taking home around US$4 500 per month.

The rot at the institution comes after senior executives at the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC), the Premier Services Medical Aid Society (PSMAS) and the Harare City Council have been exposed for earning mega salaries of between US$36 000 and US$230 000 per month.
PSMAS chief executive officer Cuthbert Dube, who has been retired, and ZBC boss Happison Muchechetere, who has been suspended, earned about US$230 000 and US$40 000 per month respectively.

When benefits are factored in, Dube earned half a million dollars every month.
Dube received allowances equivalent to his monthly basic salary of US$230 000 plus a bonus of over US$1 million in December 2013.
The Minister of Media, Information and Broadcasting Services, Jonathan Moyo is understood to have written to Muchechetere and ZBC’s Elliot Kasu (general manager-finance and administration) advising them of the termination of their salaries and benefits.

State enterprises are being systematically looted by executives allegedly conniving with senior government officials while the economy stagnates.
Audited financial records of parastatals have not been made public on time as enshrined in the Constitution. When they are made available, they are always years behind.

Mavhaire dissolves eight energy sector boards

Mavhaire dissolves eight energy sector boards

via Mavhaire dissolves eight energy sector boards | The Source February 5, 2014

Energy and power development minister Dzikamai Mavhaire has dissolved the boards of eight state-owned enterprises under the supervision of his ministry, accusing them of underperforming during the past five years.

The boards were appointed by ministers belonging to former coalition partners, Movement for Democratic Change, during the tenure of the inclusive government which ended last August.

He did not say when the new boards would be appointed.

Mavhaire said the decision to dissolve the boards was also made after the tenure of the state-owned power utility board, Zesa Holdings lapsed last December.

The dissolved boards include those for Zimbabwe Power Company, Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission Distribution Company, Powertel, Zesa Enterprises, National Oil Infrastructure Company, Petrotrade, Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority and the Rural Electrification Agency.

“You know all boards serve at the pleasure of the minister and that all ministers come with their own style in the way they operate. If I’m not happy because I don’t want things to be done as usual, we have a mandate and we have ZimAsset to  cover,” Mavhaire said.

The Zimbabwe Agenda for Socio Economic Transformation (ZimAsset) is an economic blueprint launched by the ZANU-PF government to guide the country’s economic direction up to 2018.

“I have been here for five months and hard luck, I’m not happy, I’m not enjoying. The job that they have done during that time was good but the road that we are going, I think, needs a new team. I need a clear vision, I need people who are able to understand my orientation, people who are able to understand the road where I am going. I’m not saying all of them will go, others will have the luck to come back but as usual, not all will come back.”

The country has experienced power shortages in the last decade due to obsolete equipment and limited investment in the energy sector, paralyzing industry and starving households of electricity.

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