Commercial Farmers Union of Zimbabwe

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New Hwange power plant takes shape

New Hwange power plant takes shape


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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Zambia cuts power as dam level drops

Zambia cuts power as dam level drops

May 28, 2015 Business

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

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

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

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

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


Minister Undenge explains power cuts

Minister Undenge explains power cuts

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

With biogas,nothing goes to waste

With biogas,nothing goes to waste

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hwange resumes power generation

Hwange resumes power generation

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hwange shutdown to worsen power outages

Hwange shutdown to worsen power outages

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The project will add 600MW onto the national grid.

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

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

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

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

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

Power back on after massive blackout

Power back on after massive blackout

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Loadshedding hits tobacco workers

Loadshedding hits tobacco workers

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Yesterday Kwaramba confirmed receiving communication from Sibanda over the matter.

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

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

TPZ human resources manager Samson Mugumisi yesterday confirmed the development.

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

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

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

Hwange power station shut down, power cuts to worsen

Hwange power station shut down, power cuts to worsen


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

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

The plant has an installed capacity of producing 920MW.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hwange thermal station expansion on course

Hwange thermal station expansion on course

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Zesa mulls 6pc tariff increase to cover salary arrears

Zesa mulls 6pc tariff increase to cover salary arrears


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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The power utility has more than 7 000 workers countrywide.

No tariff increase – Zesa

No tariff increase – Zesa

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Zesa to increase power cuts

Zesa to increase power cuts

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Zim’s daily power generation drops

Zim’s daily power generation drops

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hwange Electricity Supply Company granted licence to generate power

Hwange Electricity Supply Company granted licence to generate power


THE Zimbabwe Electricity Regulatory Authority (Zera) has granted Hwange Electricity Supply Company a licence to construct, operate and maintain Hwange Power Station Stage III for the purpose of generating and supplying electricity to consumers in the region.


Zera chief executive officer Gloria Magombo in a statement yesterday said the licence allowed the company to supply electricity to any transmission, distribution or supply licencee who purchases electricity for resale and with the approval of authority to any consumer.

“Generation licence No GC0032 issued in terms of Section 4 (e) of the Energy Regulatory Authority Act Chapter 13:23 of 2011 as read with section 42 of the Electricity Act Chapter 13:19 Act no.4 of 2002 hereinafter referred to as “the Act”

“The conduct of the above –named licencee under this licensee under this license is subjected to the conditions as outlined below or later revisions to these conditions as are approved by the Zera hereinafter referred to as the authority, the terms as set out in section 47 of the Act and any other amendments to the relevant legislation,” Magombo said.

According to Zera’s recently published annual report for 2013, the authority said it received applications and licenced two independent power producers in an effort to bridge the gap between supply and demand. Zera said the producers — Hytoric Enterprises t/a Southern Energy with a capacity of 600 megawatts (MW) and Kupinga Renewable Energy with a capacity of 1,5 MW — had a combined output of 601,5MW.

Zera said it had reviewed the licence for China Africa Sunlight Energy Company from 400MW to 600MW.

The country has been battling intermittent power shortages as demand continued to exceed supply with Zesa currently generating about half of the national requirement of 2 200MW. This has led to increased load shedding.

According to Zera, the Kariba Hydro Power Station plant situated along Zambezi River generated an average of 569 MW while Hwange Power Station, a coal fired plant produced an average of 436MW in the past year.

Zera said the other small thermal power stations contributed a total of about 58MW with Harare Power Station contributing 16MW, Bulawayo Power Station 20MW and Munyati Power Station 22MW against a combined dependable capacity of 100MW.
According to Zera the country’s operational IPPs have an installed capacity of 102MW which are largely co-generation and small hydro technologies and these are Triangle, Hippo Valley, Chisumbanje, Border Timbers and Nyangani Renewable Energy.

Govt updating Batoka feasibility study

Govt updating Batoka feasibility study

Bus2Tinashe Makichi  Business Reporter
Government is updating an engineering feasibility study for the Batoka hydro-power project as efforts get underway to see if the project has potential to generate more than the initially projected 1 650 megawatts.The World Bank availed a $6 million grant early last year for feasibility studies to be undertaken before the construction of the project could commence.

On the basis of the World Bank grant, consultants have been appointed and the review of the feasibility study was given to an Italian company while the environmental and social impact study was awarded to a South African company.

The findings so far by the Italian firm revealed that the mega hydro project can produce more power as previously anticipated.

Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority chief executive Engineer Gloria Magombo yesterday confirmed the development and said some progress has been made on the project.

“The feasibility is currently ongoing with the assistance from World Bank so that the project becomes bankable,” said Engineer Magombo.
Zambezi River Authority yesterday told The Herald Business that according to the work plan the engineering feasibility study will be complete by August this year while the EIA is scheduled for completion in May this year.

ZRA is expected to work in consultation with ZESCA in Zambia and Zimbabwe Power Company in Zimbabwe on the project implementation.

Both companies doing the studies have since started their work and the Italian company has proven to be most advanced as they have already indicated how much power is likely to be produced given the advancements in designing and technology.

This is exciting news to Government because hydro-power is cheaper than thermal and certainly many times cheaper than solar.

The proposed hydro-electric scheme is located on the Zambezi River, about 54km downstream of the Victoria Falls, across the boundary between Zambia and Zimbabwe. It involves the construction of a dam and a hydro-power plant on the Zambezi River.

So far the ZRA short-listed six international transaction advisors for the construction of a 1 600 megawatt hydropower plant to the tune of $6 billion at the Batoka Gorge along the Zambezi River near Victoria Falls

If completed, the project would increase generation capacity and reduce reliance on electricity imports and Initial studies have shown that the Batoka hydro scheme would turn Zimbabwe into a regional net exporter of power.

The project would also improve the generation mix which is currently skewed in favour of coal-fired plants. The Batoka hydro concept was conceived in 1972 out of a study instituted by the predecessor of Zambezi River Authority, the Central African Power Corporation.

Last year, Energy and Power Permanent Secretary Patson Mbiriri said it was necessary to review the Batoka power project feasibility study.

Mr Mbiriri said if Government can maximise on particular utilities and get the maximum out of it then of course it will end up with more power in terms of hydro-power.

He said once both studies have been reviewed approaches will now be made and bids will be submitted to the short-listed companies to go through them.

The Batoka hydro scheme is among Zimbabwe’s long-term plans to deal with the prevailing power deficit in the region.

Plans for the project were initially mooted in 1993, but the Zambian government was reluctant because of the outstanding debts which it wanted Zimbabwe to clear first.

However, the Zimbabwe Government agreed to pay off more than $70 million it owes Zambia for the sale of the Central African Power Corporation assets which were jointly owned by the two countries thereby proving green light for the project to take off.

Sino-Zim power deals take off

Sino-Zim power deals take off

Kariba-DamFelex Share and Lloyd Gumbo
Mega power deals sealed by President Mugabe in China last year have taken off, with construction already underway at key projects expected to add 1 500 megawatts to the national grid.

The projects are Kariba South Hydro Power Station (300MW), Hwange Thermal Power Station expansion (600MW) and construction of the Gwayi-Shangani Thermal Power Station (600MW), all scheduled for completion by 2018.

China Exim Bank recently released $80 million advance payment to Sinohydro for the expansion of Kariba South Hydro Power Station.

As a result, manufacturing of turbines and generators for the $533 million project has started in China.

Sinohydro was also contracted to expand Hwange Thermal Power Station at a cost of $1,1 billion.

It is this month mobilising on site to do “pre-commencement works” while Government officials are soon expected to leave for China to finalise funding for the project.

China Africa Sunlight Energy (CASECO), which won the bid to construct the $2 billion Gwayi-Shangani Thermal Power Station, has completed clearance work on site, with actual construction expected to commence in July.

An official at Sinohydro who spoke on condition of anonymity said construction work was now at full throttle following the release of funds by China Exim Bank.

“The project is now at full throttle because the manufacturer has started manufacturing turbines and generators in China after that money was released,” he said.

“We are also using part of the money on the Zimbabwean side to buy some of the material here and set up. We are at the moment working on tunnels excavation and we have already achieved 300 metres for the longest tunnel while the other four tunnels are still under excavation. On the working site, we have about 70 Chinese engineers and about 400 local technicians and labourers.”

The projects are expected to have multiple benefits that encompass job creation in line with the Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio Economic Transformation.

Zimbabwe Power Company managing director Engineer Noah Gwariro said the contractor was mobilising on -site to do initial works.

He said a team from the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development and ZPC would soon be dispatched to China to finalise funding.

“The contractor is moving on site this month to have pre-commencement work, that is, things like ground and soils have to be tested. This will lay the foundation for them to do a detailed design lay out.

“We are talking to China Exim Bank and we have provided them with the information they need. If all goes well a team will be in China soon because what is now left is for the Minister of Finance to sign for the loan for that contract.”

CASECO deputy general manager Retired Colonel Charles Mugari said clearance of the concession at Gwayi was complete, paving way for construction of a magazine plant for explosives storage.

“In the meantime, we have doubled our efforts to finalise the financial closure because we have been to ZERA (Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority) where they gave us a rate that we can work with,” said Rtd Col Mugari.

“All things being equal by March this year we should start sinking mine shafts while at the same time hope that by July we can start construction of the power station.

“Our general manager is already in China negotiating with various financial institutions.”

CASECO executive board secretary Mr Isaac Chihuri added that all was on course for the first mega independent power producer to kickstart work on the ground.

“As we speak, parties are negotiating with Sinosure (China Export and Credit Insurance Corporation) to ensure quick financial closure. But Industrial and Commercial Bank of China has already been identified as a major conduit to the financing of the project.

“We will be sending a delegation to China soon to discuss security measures with Sinosure. The power project will commence as soon as financial closure is achieved,” said Mr Chihuri.

The integrated Gwayi-Shangani project will see the company extract coal, construct a 600MW thermal power station and install a power transmission line.

To end the chronic power shortages, Zimbabwe is working on a host of public and private expansion projects, chief among them Kariba and Hwange.

The Sadc region faces serious power shortages between now and 2018 due to lack of investment and implementation of regional power projects.

Zimbabwe generates about 1 300 megawatts against a peak demand of 2 200 MW.

Zesa blames heavy rains for power cuts

Zesa blames heavy rains for power cuts

THE Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (Zesa) has blamed heavy rains that hit most of the country for the latest spate of power outages, saying it has experienced a number of faults due to wet weather.


In a statement yesterday, the power utility said lightning strikes and falling trees were adversely affecting normal power distribution.

“Lightning strikes and falling trees on overhead distribution networks are causing malfunctions of some electrical equipment and water seeping into underground cables is causing short circuiting,” the statement reads.

Zesa warned consumers against attempting to repair electrical faults or interfering with electricity infrastructure, as this might lead to serious injury or electrocution.

“Consumers should contact Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company personnel to attend to faults and should not interpret all power outages as load-shedding,” the company warned.

Zesa said it was working flat out to fix the faults and restore services at the earliest possible times to minimise inconveniences.

“Some faults may take longer to rectify than is normally the case,” the utility said.

“Inconveniences being caused by the high prevalence rate of faults are sincerely regretted.”

Heavy rains presently being experienced in the country have reportedly claimed lives and caused mayhem, destroying settlements and leaving a trail of destruction. Road infrastructure has been affected, with some roads becoming slippery and access to some areas hampered.

The Meteorological Services Department has forecast heavy rains next week with the ground already saturated and dams overflowing.

Rains are expected to worsen the already bad situation and may cause flash flooding.

More load shedding looms for Sadc

More load shedding looms for Sadc

load sheddingOliver Kazunga and Happiness Zengeni in Victoria Falls
SADC should brace for increased electricity load shedding between now and 2018 due to lack of investment and implementation of regional power projects, an official said yesterday.

Addressing delegates at the Regional Energy Regulators Association for Southern Africa meeting in Victoria Falls yesterday, the Southern African Power Pool Co-ordination Centre manager, Dr Lawrence Musaba, said energy projects were not properly packaged due to a lack of funding.

“Power deficits in Sadc started in 2007 and at the moment we’re commissioning projects that generate 1 100 megawatts yearly while the demand for energy is rising. Before the World Cup in 2010 power demand was 4,6 percent and is now averaging 5 percent.

“Between now and 2018 load shedding in the region will continue due to lack of implementation and delays in implementing other projects in the region,” he said.

“By 2018 all the countries in Sadc need to have an integrated approach to address power constraints in the region.”

This year, Dr Musaba said, the region was expected to commission 2 896MW but with a few weeks before the end of the year the target was likely to be missed.

“Our planned generation for the period 2014-2018 stands at 28 000MW. By 2016, we should be getting out of the deficit if the projects are implemented. There’s need for the region to implement the planned projects . . . ”

SAPP was constituted by 12 Sadc member states although the bloc has 16 countries.

“The region has installed generation capacity of 58 gigawatts and what is available is 51GW,” said Dr Musaba.

He said in terms of transmission the central corridor that includes countries such as the Democratic Republic of Congo, Mozambique , Malawi and Angola needed to be reinforced.

He noted that participation of the private sector in the energy sector through coming up with initiatives such as bankable power purchase agreements and appropriate levels of electricity tariffs, among others, was critical in the region.

He said the process of assigning priority projects and criteria when agreed by SAPP should be implemented by member states.

Demand for power in Southern African has been increasing at an average rate of 3 percent per annum. In the last 10 years demand for power in the SAPP region increased by over 32 percent, equivalent to 13 000MW. Unfortunately, there has been no corresponding investments in generation and transmission infrastructure (11 202MW generation added from 2004 to 2013) resulting in the supply deficit that the region was facing.

The reasons for the deficit include economic growth of more than 5 percent in most of the SADC member countries resulting in unprecedented growth in electricity consumption and demand.

There has also been an increase in demand for base metals resulting in high metal prices on the world market with new mining companies being established in the SADC region in the last few years.

Further, inadequate investments in generation and transmission infrastructure over the last 20 years caused shortage while electrification programmes have partly contributed to the increased consumption and demand.

The challenge of potential power shortage was identified and communicated, but not adequately mitigated.

Batoka to employ locals

Batoka to employ locals

BATOKA hydropower dam project is expected to create employment for about 3 000 people from both Zimbabwe and Zambia.

Ruth Ngwenya
Own Correspondent

Zambezi River Authority (ZRA) chief executive officer Munyaradzi Munondawafa yesterday said construction of Batoka Dam will create long lasting job opportunities for locals near the dam from both countries.

“While companies conducting rafting argue that they are going to provide employment through rafting activities, the building of the Batoka itself is going to provide employment for about 3 000 people,” he said.

“These people will be taken from the locality of the dam and we are talking of something which will last for five years or more probably from August next year.”

The Batoka hydropower project will have a 181 meter high dam wall that will hold back 1 680 million cubic meters of water, covering an area of approximately 26 square kilometres. Munondawafa said the Zimbabwe and Zambian governments gave clearances on development of Batoka.

“Currently we are waiting for update on feasibility studies as well as carrying out of the environment impact assessment,” he explained.

“Previous environment assessments were rejected because they had loopholes.

“A full report is expected by March, after that we go to development of Batoka Dam.”

Munondawafa said the report will also evaluate how much money the project will contribute for the next 50 years to the two countries compared to how much shearwater rafting had contributed in the past 50 years.

“If it is discovered that rafting has not contributed much, then we have to agree on what is required to be done and go on with the project,” he said.

ZRA is a bi-lateral organisation between Zimbabwe and Zambia mandated to manage the Zambezi River and come up with strategies of ensuring that electricity is always available.

“As a bi-lateral organisation, we have to ensure that there is no disruption of electricity supply due to any problems from water,” he said.

“We have to strategically ensure that the water quality and quantity is okay so that we do not drain the lake for the sake of coming up with electricity.”

One of ZRA projects is the upcoming rehabilitation of Kariba Dam complex, which is funded by the Zimbabwe and Zambian governments, with support from European Union, World Bank, African Development Bank and individual European countries like Sweden.

“The issue of funding is almost done,” he said.

“There is strong commitment that we will get the funding and we are expecting that we start the rehabilitation process by May next year. A total of $292 million is needed for the whole rehabilitation process.”

Sable buckles under $123m power bill

Sable buckles under $123m power bill

Ammonium-Nitrate-fertiliserGolden Sibanda Senior Business Reporter
FERTILISER manufacturer Sable Chemicals has accumulated a $123 million bill from the Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company for unpaid electricity.

The bill constitutes about 10 percent of the total amount consumers owe the power transmission and distribution company, which is now estimated at over $900 million.

Sable Chemicals, based in the Midlands Province town of Kwekwe, consumes huge amounts of electricity, currently translating to average daily consumption of 80 megawatts. Most of the electricity is required to power the firm’s electrolysis plant.

Zimbabwe is only able to generate an average of 1 300MW with 2 200MW required at peak of demand.

Sable’s power bill has continued to grow exponentially since 2009, despite the company enjoying power supplies at a grossly subsidised rate due to Sable’s strategic importance.

The company is Zimbabwe’s sole producer of ammonium nitrate fertiliser.

Sable Chemicals has since dollarisation been getting power supply at 3 cents per kilowatt hour. ZETDC procures the electricity from the Zimbabwe Power Company – power utility Zesa Holdings’ generation unit – at 8 cents per kilowatt hour.

Sources said the company recently had its power supply disconnected over the arrears, but was reconnected to the grid following the intervention of Energy and Power Development Minister Dzikamai Mavhaire, allegedly at the directive of Cabinet.

Sources said Cabinet felt that cutting supplies to Sable Chemicals could affect availability of key agricultural inputs such as ammonium nitrate for the 2014-15 farming season.

Sable Chemicals electrolysis plant is used for the separation of water into oxygen and hydrogen. Hydrogen is a key input in the manufacture of ammonia, an important raw material used by Sable Chemical in the production of nitrogenous fertilizers.

The firm, operating at 40 percent capacity, is importing 30 percent of the ammonia required for nitrogenous fertilizer, with the balance produced at the Kwekwe plant.

“They want to continue getting the power at 3 cents/kWh when ZETDC buys the electricity at 8 cents/kWh; that is not sustainable. ZETDC ends up punishing customers through load shedding to supply a company that is not paying,” a source said.

The source said this affected resource mobilization to maintain the network and settle debts, because unlike the bills accrued by domestic consumers, there was no mechanism to defray part of the debt from periodic prepaid payments for electricity.

Contacted for comment Sable Chemical chief executive Mr Jack Murehwa said “governance dictates that we do not discuss our creditor, debtor situations in the press.”

He said it was “untrue” (that Sable Chemical owed $123 million for unpaid electricity) and also dismissed reports that the firm once had power supply disconnected.

“We were on reduced power for some period in November while discussions were going on between Government, Sable and ZESA on standing power supply arrangements.

Asked what plans were in place to settle of the massive bill, Mr Murehwa said “I am not sure what information you have on the $123 million, but you certainly seem misinformed,” saying governance dictated that such issues must stay clear of the press.

“However, if some of my creditors or debtors choose to discuss such information with you, that is them and I cannot be part of that discourse,” Mr Murehwa said.

Efforts to get official comment from Zesa Holdings also proved fruitless yesterday.

Mr Murehwa said Sable had always receiving support from Government since being founded in 1969 and the terms were agreed the three parties, including ZESA.

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