Commercial Farmers Union of Zimbabwe

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ZESA

ZETDC to seal power deal with Mozambique

ZETDC to seal power deal with Mozambique

Business Reporter
THE Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company is close to clinching a deal to increase power imports from Mozambique by 50 megawatts to augment local supplies.

Managing director Engineer Julian Chinembiri said ZETDC, a subsidiary of Zesa Holdings was hoping to seal the deal once the power purchase agreement between Mozambique and other regional utilities expire. Zimbabwe is importing 50 MW from the eastern neighbour.

“We have an agreement for the supply of 50 megawatts, but we are planning to increase that to 100 megawatts,” Eng Chinembiri said in an interview.

“We are trying to tie up a deal and are waiting for their power purchase agreements with other utilities to expire.

“They have agreements for the supply of about 100 megawatts with other utilities that include Botswana. We are looking at sealing the deal before year end.”

Zimbabwe is grappling with power shortages which has resulted in severe load shedding.

The country’s power plants produce an average 1 200 megawatts, about half of its peak demand and is minimizing power shortages through imports from the region.

Zesa Holdings is also in talks with Lunsemfwa Hydro Power Company of Zambia to import electricity to boost domestic supply.

A delegation from Lunsemfwa was in the country recently for negotiations, which, if successfully concluded would see Zimbabwe importing 50 megawatts from Zambia.

Zesa chief executive Eng Josh Chifamba the move is aimed boosting local supply through importing electricity from regional sources.

Lunsemfwa Hydro is the first independent power producer in Zambia. It operates two hydropower plants with a total installed capacity of 56 MW.

LHPC is currently undertaking feasibility studies and has a strategic plan to increase the installed capacity to 500 MW by 2020.

LHPC is a subsidiary of Agua Imara, an SN Power Group company.

Zimbabwe requires about $5 billion for projects to increase generation capacity to produce 3500 MW.

Projects lined up included the $1,5 billion joint project with China to build units at the Hwange thermal power station, a $533-million expansion at Kariba hydropower station, solar in Matabeleland and gas or diesel generators in the eastern border town of Mature, according to media reports citing Eng Noah Gwariro, managing director of Zesa’s generation division Zimbabwe Power Company.

SPB stalling solar power stations: Mbiriri

SPB stalling solar power stations: Mbiriri

Tendai Sahondo Business Correspondent
The State Procurement Board (SPB) is stifling progress on the planned establishment of three solar power stations that will pump an additional 300MW onto the national grid, secretary of Energy and Power Development, Partson Mbiriri has said.

Mr Mbiriri said the procurement process has been delayed due to anomalies that arose in the second round of bids.

“Government plans to build three solar 100MW power stations in Gwanda, Munyati while the other plant will be stationed at Plumtree.

“However, progress for the project has been stalled by SPB processes as everything has remained in their hands years after the idea was first muted. There have been questions relating to the second round of bids.

“Once SPB has approved the recommendations that have gone to them, we will proceed,” he said.

SPB cancelled the projects last year after one of the winning bidders, China Jiangxi Corporation requested to increase the price to $207 million from $184 million. It was also alleged that the Zimbabwe Power Company ( ZPC) had failed to agree with the other two winning bidders, Intratrek and ZTE.

However, SPB executive Charles Kuwaza recently denied the projects had been cancelled insisting that the tendering process is ongoing.

He said the board is trying by all means to speed up the process while thoroughly analysing the bid documents.

The solar power stations are expected to provide immediate relief to energy consumers that are at the receiving end of constant power cuts.

Mr Mbiriri however, warned that blending solar energy with power from hydro and thermal power stations will hike the electrify tariffs as solar is more expensive to produce, averaging 17c to 19c per kilowatt hour

“If you produce too much solar and blend it with power from Hwange and Kariba, the blend tariff will invariably increase. Although solar is coming down in terms of cost, it still does not compare to the other forms of power generation,” he said.

He further said solar power cannot address the electricity challenges in the country as sunlight is limited during the morning and evening peak hours. He said Government would not be able to store the power in batteries as this would be too expensive if done at a large scale.

“Solar has limited capacity to address our real challenges on the ground, we might find that we have created white elephants” he added.

He said Government is also working making solar geysers mandatory on all new and existing structures.

“We are working on the legalities of mandatory solar heating. The decision has been that the solar water heaters should be made in Zimbabwe. We are also working on the finances that might be required for the project; two local commercial banks have already joined for the implementation of the project,” he said.

He said consumers will be expected to pay for the geysers through prepaid metres payments as ZETDC will handle the facility.

Zambia in crisis as Kariba dries up

Zambia in crisis as Kariba dries up

by Business Reporter Sunday, Aug 23, 2015 | 310 views
 
 

THE last time Munandi Siatambika remembers Lake Kariba being this empty was 20 years ago.

kariba dam hydro electric

kariba dam hydro electric

As the world’s largest man-made reservoir dries, the economic fortunes of Zambia continue to fall.

“The situation is quite serious, looking at the rate the water level is going down,” Siatambika, a 35-year-old tour guide at a lodge in Sinazongwe on the northern lake shore said in an interview.

“It’s likely to be even worse than in 1995.”

The Southern African nation, the second-biggest copper producer on the continent, typically generates almost half of its electricity output from a hydropower plant at Kariba.

The power shortage is deepening an economic crisis as President Edgar Lungu’s government struggles to cope with a plunge in metal prices, a widening budget deficit and a collapse in the nation’s currency.

Kariba is the world’s biggest man-made reservoir by volume, straddling the Zambia-Zimbabwe border and supplying about 1 830MW of power to the two nations when running at full capacity.

The dam was 40 percent full on July 19, less than half what it was a year ago, according to official data.

Fed by the Zambezi River, the reservoir is 226km long and as wide as 40km.

Zambia’s state-owned utility Zesco Ltd has already asked mining companies including Glencore Plc and Vedanta Resources Plc to curb power demand by 30 percent, reducing output from an industry that makes up about 12 percent of the economy.

Assets Abandoned

“A drought-related power crisis in Zambia will further erode the near-term fiscal and growth outlook,” Clare Allenson, an Africa analyst at Eurasia Group in Washington, said in an e-mailed reply to questions.

Power rationing “will undermine economic activity not only in mining, but more broadly, driving lower revenue collection”.

Investors are starting to abandon Zambian assets, once a favoured bet because of the nation’s stable political environment and average economic growth of 6,8 percent a year in the past decade.

The kwacha has plunged 20 percent against the US dollar this year, while the government sold its third global bond last month at a yield of 9,38 percent, the most ever for an African issuer in the Eurobond market.

In June, Finance Minister Alexander Chikwanda cut his forecast for economic growth this year to 5,8 percent from more than seven percent, a month before the start of eight hours a day of power rationing.

Taking electricity reductions into account, expansion could be four percent or slower this year, said Mushiba Nyamazana, an economics research fellow at the University of Zambia.

That would be the lowest level since 2000, just as the country was completing privatisation of its copper mines and the industry was on the cusp of a boom.

Mining Impact

It’s still too early to predict the exact toll that reducing power will take on mining production, although “it’s bound to be serious”, Situmbeko Musokotwane, who served as finance minister from 2008 until 2011, said by phone.

Copper prices have fallen 18 percent in London since January.

“The accumulation of risk factors threaten the viability of mining operations,” said Irmgard Erasmus, a NKC African Economics economist in Paarl, South Africa. “While miners are globally struggling with price shocks, the high costs of doing business and policy risk in Zambia could ultimately result in further mine closures and suspension of expansion plans.”

Zambia will enter its hottest months in October and November, said Siatambika, and even when the weather turns wet, which it normally does in late November, there’s no certainty the water level will be restored immediately. After “1995, the water stayed low for three or four years” he said, standing on a sandbank on Lake Kariba and looking out into the afternoon sunlight. “It didn’t just come back.”

Countrywide electricity disconnections loom

Countrywide electricity disconnections loom

by Debra Matabvu Sunday, Aug 23, 2015 | 900 views
 
 

Zesa will this week embark on a nationwide exercise to cut power supplies to thousands of consumers owing the parastatal amounts above US$500 despite previous assurances that the debts would be settled through part deductions from prepaid electricity recharge tokens.

 

ELECTRICAL cuts on the way

ELECTRICAL cuts on the way

Since the Zesa switched over to prepaid meters, the parastatal is owed about US$1,1 billion and the move is meant to recover at least US$80 million monthly.

The Sunday Mail understands that debtors already using prepaid meters will be cut off from the stations’ system whilst those using the post-paid system will be disconnected from power lines.

Zesa spokesperson, Mr Fullard Gwasira said despite the prepayment system guaranteeing the power utility steady income inflows, debt recovery has been affected since customers were paying for the energy they would want to use.

“It is important to note that ZETDC gave a reprieve to customers by offering 30 percent amortisation for all purchases in 2009,” he said.

“But a customer owing $1 000 and buying electricity for $50 only pays $15 towards the debt per month.

“This means that this valued customer will need over five years to settle the debt.

“Affected customers are urged to engage the power utility to negotiate payment plans that would be loaded in the prepaid vending system. The system will only allow token purchases that meet the payment plan.”

Mr Gwasira said since the inception of prepaid meters, the power utility had only managed to recover 18 percent of the debt.

“ZEDTC has since realized $56 million through the prepaid electricity platform,” he said.

ZESA introduced electricity prepaid meters in 2012 in a bid to inculcate a culture of energy saving and to ensure guaranteed cash inflows as consumers pay in advance.

In 2013, the company cancelled customers’ debts, following recommendations by the Government.

The move benefited all domestic customers with a debt relief of $160 per household while customers on prepaid meters had their amortised outstanding debts adjusted.

ZESA has installed 550 000 prepaid meters to date with a total of about 100 000 domestic customers still on the post-paid system.

The power utility says the arrears settlement will enable the smooth implementation of power supply expansion projects at both Kariba and Hwange power stations.

Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority Farmers Indaba 18 August 2015

Below are some of the very interesting presentations made at the ZERA Farmers Indaba held at the Crown Plaza on 18 August 2015:

OPENING REMARKS BY THE MINISTRY OF ENERGY AND POWER DEVELOPMENT AT THE FARMERS’ INDABA, CROWNE PLAZA, 18TH AUGUST 2015

 

OPERATIONAL EFFICIENCY IMPROVEMENTS AVAILABLE TO FARMERS

PAPER PRESENTED BY THE SECRETARYFOR AGRICULTURE, MECHANISATION AND IRRIGATION DEVELOPMENT AT A FARMERS INDABA RUNNING UNDER THE THEME “ENSURING FOOD SECURITY THROUGH ENERGY EFFICIENCY.

 

1.  Welcome Remarks and Introductions by Eng. Gloria Magombo, CEO of ZERA

2.  AGRICULTURE SECTOR POWER SUPPLY SUPPORT

Ensuring food security through energy efficiency

By R. T. Katsande Commercial Director ZETDC

3.  ENSURING FOOD SECURITY THROUGH ENERGY EFFICIENCY

By Wonder Chabikwa-President ZCFU & Chair- Joint Presidents Council(JPC)

4.  Zimbabwe National Energy Efficiency Audit (NEEA)

Agriculture sector presentation

SAEC (SEMCO, SIRDC and others) by Sosten Ziuku (Ph.D) - SIRDC

5. ELECTRICITY SAFETY IN THE AGRICULTURAL SECTOR - ZERA

6.  ENERGY EFFICIENCY AS A WAY OF IMPROVING COMPETITIVENESS IN THE AGRICULTURAL SECTOR - ZERA

7.  SAFETY, HEALTH AND ENVIRONMENTAL CONSIDERATIONS IN HANDLING FUEL: ENG A. GURI. ZERA

8.  USE OF RENEWABLE ENERGY AS ALTERNATIVE SOURCE OF ENERGY IN THE FARMING SECTOR: ZERA

Farmers resist Zesa prepaid meters

Farmers resist Zesa prepaid meters

THE Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company (ZETDC) says it is now saving 100MW on a monthly basis since installing 550,000 prepaid meters throughout the country.

Speaking at the Zera Farmers indaba on Tuesday, ZETDC commercial director, Ralph Katsande said the firm is targeting to install 800,000 prepaid meters by 2018.

“We’ve installed 550,000 prepaid meters to date, we’re already seeing significant saving as people become conscious and aware of their consumption habits. Domestic consumption has since come down by 108MW per day, our target is to install 800,000 prepaid meters by 2018,” he said.

Katsande said ZETDC is owed $1.1 billion with local authorities owing $270m, the agriculture sector owing $76m while the commercial sector owes $180m.

He said the debt is compromising power supply security as key creditors are threatening to withdraw their services.

“The debt leads to poor credit ratings, which make it difficult to attract financiers to invest in power assets in a market where service bills are not being paid. The debt also impacts on operations as network maintenance cannot be sustained,” he added.

Katsande said the utility is now engaging farmers to sign-up payments plans while encouraging farmers whose produce is marketed in structured markets to sign-up stop order schemes.

He, however, conceded that there has been resistance of prepaid meters on the farms.

He said the country is producing 1,163MW with a deficit of 300MW. Kariba is producing 696MW against a capacity of 709MW due to the drought while Hwange is producing 349MW against an installed capacity of 610MW.

Small thermals are producing 72MW with independent power producers and power imports contributing 53MW.

Secretary of Energy and Power Development, Partson Mbiriri said the fiscus cannot afford to subsidise energy to farmers.

He, however, said the government is working flat out to ensure that farmers access cheap off peak power through the installation of smart meters, which are expected in the first quarter of 2016.

The meters will enable farmers to use energy at a time when the tariff will be low, thereby boosting production. — Wires.

Zambia takes measures to ensure Lake Kariba does not dry up

Zambia takes measures to ensure Lake Kariba does not dry up

August 17, 2015 in NationalNews

ENERGY-USE curbs by Zambia will keep its largest electricity plant at the world’s biggest man-made lake and reservoir, Lake Kariba, going until November, when seasonal rains may begin replenishing water levels at the hydropower station.

“If we don’t do anything right now, by October we’ll have nothing,” Jackson Sikamo, president at the Chamber of Mines, which represents mining companies in Africa’s second-biggest copper producer, said by phone last Thursday.

“If we do something right now, we’ll be able to run up to November and then the rains will come and we’ll be able to continue to operate at reduced levels.”

The Kariba North Bank generation facility has capacity to provide as much as 1 080 megawatts (MW), nearly half of Zambia’s normal power production.

Water levels at the reservoir had dropped to 40% by July 19, according to the Zambezi River Authority, half of where they were 12 months earlier.

Neighbouring Zimbabwe also relies on the dam for electricity.

Zambia in June started cutting power to customers other than mines by as much as 10 hours a day because of reduced generation at Kariba and the Kafue Gorge plants.

Copper producers agreed August 11 to cut their power use by 30% to avert exhausting water levels at the Kariba generators and forcing them to be switched off in the first week of October, Sikamo said.

Zambia usually gets its first rains in November and water levels at Kariba, fed by the Zambezi River, start rising from March, according to the river authority’s website.

This could be threatened by El Nino, a weather system building in the Pacific Ocean since March that affects rainfall in southern Africa.

There is a “significant chance” El Nino could in 2015 reach the strongest levels in 35 years, according to the World Food Programme.

While it is difficult to make predictions of the effect on Zambian precipitation at this stage, “the odds are on reduced rainfall,” Mark New, director at the University of Cape Town’s African Climate and Development Initiative, said in reply to emailed questions.

“If mines’ power consumption continues at the current rate, the country may get to a point, before year-end, where the power station will have to be switched off,” Chama Nsabika Kalima, a spokeswoman for Copperbelt Energy Corp, said in an emailed reply to questions.

The company supplies electricity to most Zambian mines.

First Quantum Minerals Ltd, Barrick Gold Corp, Glencore Plc and Vedanta Resources Plc are among mining companies with operations in Zambia that account for more than half of its electricity demand.

The country produces more copper than any other in Africa aside from the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Zambia, which relies on hydropower for more than 95% of its electricity generation, has a 540MW deficit because of the low water levels, Mines and Energy minister Christopher Yaluma told lawmakers on July 2.

Production at the biggest power project under construction, the 300MW Maamba coal plant, has been delayed until the mid-2016.
Mining companies have the option of buying 148 megawatts of imported power from September 1 to help ease the shortage, according to Sikamo.

Kariba covers 5 580 square kilometers and can hold 185 billion cubic meters of water, according to Water-Technology.net. That makes it the world’s biggest man-made reservoir by water storage capacity. — online

 

Restoring Zim’s Economy through embracing the transition of a Renewable Clean Energy Era

Restoring Zim’s Economy through embracing the transition of a Renewable Clean Energy Era

Zimbabwe still has a chance to restore its economy in the Renewable Clean energy Era.Renewable energy resources will support our economy, create jobs for the citizens and move Zimbabwe towards a cleaner and more reliable energy future.

 

By Tinashe Masimbe

As most Zimbabweans are losing their jobs each day because of the current economy stress and the unemployment rate of the country standing at 80%. The numbers of those in formal employment are steadily decreasing, as an economic squeeze tightens. More than 6000 people were reported officially retrenched in 2014.

The use of modern renewable energy technologies produces less pollution than burning fossil fuels especially with respect to net emissions of greenhouse gases, and the world coming together to achieve a legally binding and universal agreement on climate, with the aim of keeping global warming below 2°C . Local renewable energy resources also represent a secure and stable source of energy for our country and a potential source of jobs, economic development and improve gross domestic product.

Government of Zimbabwe is in the process of developing a renewable energy policy, according to ZERA in 2014. However, there is need for Zimbabwe to move at a faster pace. In 2009, the Union of Concerned Scientists conducted an analysis of the economic benefits of a 25 percent renewable energy standard by 2025; it found that such a policy would create more than three times as many jobs as producing an equivalent amount of electricity from fossil fuels resulting in a benefit of 202,000 new jobs in 2025.

Jobs directly created in the renewable energy industry and growth in renewable energy creates positive economic “ripple” effects. For example, industries in the renewable energy supply chain will benefit, and unrelated local businesses will benefit from increased household and business incomes (EPA,2010).

According to the Union Scientists increasing our use of renewable energy offers other important economic development benefits. The government can collect property and income taxes and other payments from renewable energy project owners. These revenues can help support vital public services, especially in rural communities where projects are often located.

Renewable energy can provide an affordable and consistent electricity supply across the country and solve the issue of serious power cuts. Total electricity generation in 2009 stood at 7,900 GWh, of which 53.3% or 4,303 GWh was produced from renewable sources. Electricity consumption per capita in 2009 stood at 1,022 kWh (REEEP,2012). Renewables can help stabilize power supply and energy prices in the future.

Renewable energy sources are more resilient than fossil fuels in times of recurring droughts and flooding extreme weather events. Solar PV is less prone to large scale failure because of Zimbabwe’s abundance of sunshine throughout the year.

Investment in locally available renewable energy generates more jobs, greater earnings, and higher output. Climate communicators say, “Renewable energy investment is paying off and those countries failing to embrace the transition are missing out. Countries are reaping the benefits of renewables, including home grown jobs, cleaner air, energy security and safer investments.”

IRENA Director-General Adnan Z. Amin mentions, “As many economies are still recovering from the global financial crisis, renewable energy offers an opportunity to grow economies, improve energy security, enhance energy access, and mitigate climate change,”.

According to IRENA, in 2014 an estimated 7.7 million people in the world worked directly or indirectly in the energy sector, with an additional 1.5 million in large-scale hydropower.Solar PV is the largest employer, with 2.5 million jobs.

As Zimbabwe’s average solar insolation stands at 5.7 kWh/ m2/day. The potential for renewable energy, especially from solar PV and solar water heaters, is enormous but thus far hasn’t been sufficiently exploited. Solar PV has a technical potential of over 300 MW, whilst only 1% of the technical potential for water heaters is being exploited (REEEP, 2012). All these statistics prove Zimbabwe can still rebuild its economy profitably through embracing the transition of a renewable energy era.

Another Mini-Hydro Plant For Manicaland Next Year

Another Mini-Hydro Plant For Manicaland Next Year

15 Jul 2015

hydroplant

NYANGANI Renewable Energy (NRE), an independent power producer (IPP) says it has started construction of its $7 million, 2.72 MW mini hydro plant in Manicaland which is expected to be complete by January 2016.

In an interview, managing director Ian Mckersie said the new mini hydro will add to the existing three stations known as Duru, Nyamhingura and Pungwe Hydro Power plants in the same province.

“We have now started constructing the new mini-hydro power station known as Pungwe C and we hope to commission it by January 2016,”he said.

Mckersie said the project will be completed at a cost of $7 million.

NRE was licensed by the Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority (ZERA) early this year to construct, own, operate and maintain a 2,72 MW mini-hydro power known as Pungwe C Power Plant at Chiteme River in Manicaland Province.

According to ZERA about 18 IPPs have been licensed and to date, seven are now operational producing a total of around 103MW for own use and exportation to the national grid.

Of the 18, 11 are still at various stages of development and are expected to be wholly operational in the next three years. All the licensed IPPs have the capacity to generate about 5 365 MW.

Zimbabwe is currently producing about 1 200 MW against demand of 2 200 MW with the deficit however being complemented through imports.

Energy experts contend that the Southern African region requires massive investments in power sector and more independent power producers (IPPs) to ease electricity challenges currently bedeviling the region’s economic progression.

In Zimbabwe some of these projects include the coal fired China Africa Sunlight Energy operating as Gwayi Power Station (600 MW) based in Matabeleland North Province, hydro powered Manako Power (2, 5 MW) operating in Manicaland Province, Great Zimbabwe Hydro (5 MW) based in Masvingo Province, Geobase Gwanda Solar Plant (250 MW) based in Matabeleland South Province and the thermal Sengwa Power Station (1200MW) based in the Midlands Province among others. -FinX

Vandalism, theft cost ZESA $30m

Vandalism, theft cost ZESA $30m

Power lineGolden Sibanda Senior Business Reporter
POWER utility Zesa Holdings lost about $30 million worth of equipment due to vandalism and theft in the last 18 months, resulting in interruption of power supply in a country already grappling with power shortages.

Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company managing director Engineer Julian Chinembiri said about $15 million equipment was vandalised. An equivalent value in potential revenue was also lost as a result.

“We lost about $10 million worth of equipment last year and so far we have lost about $5 million worth of equipment this year,” the ZETDC boss said, adding “the moment they vandalise infrastructure, supply of power to the industry and domestic customers is interrupted”.

The managing director made the remarks in an interview on the sidelines of a workshop to explore effective ways to stem the tide of theft and vandalism to power infrastructure.

Eng Chinembiri said a total of $10 million in potential revenue was lost last year and in the half-year to June half of that amount is believed to have been lost due to the interruptions caused by vandalism and theft.

“For example, we gave an idea (of estimated revenue lost). As a utility, we lost close to $10 million and if we compare with last year, it means, roughly we have lost close to $5 million in revenue from January to June,” he said.

The problem was most prevalent in power infrastructure such as transformers, where oil is drained and copper components stripped, overhead wire transmission lines, which are stolen and sold locally or exported.

This comes against the backdrop where the utility is battling to raise financial resources required to maintain transmission infrastructure and finance daily operations, as it is owed about $900 million by its customers.

ZETDC is due to present a new strategy targeting $80 million collections for the billion dollars owed by customers in unpaid power bills. He said theft and vandalism was seriously affecting supply to customers.

“We know that we are load-shedding, but each time power goes off our customers think that it is load-shedding and they see that power cut is prolonged. At the end of the day, they discover that its vandalised equipment. As such, this affects power supply to our customers,” he said.

Eng Chinembiri said the power tariff levied to customers did not provide for vandalism or theft of equipment, which sees the utility diverting funds for expansion and maintenance to replacing stolen equipment.

The discussions around ways and means to curb vandalism and theft of power infrastructure comes amid concerns about the extent to which the laws provided deterrent punishment on anyone caught tampering with equipment.

Head of legal services in the Prosecutor- General’s Office Mr Admire Munowenyu said challenges arise when incorrect laws are cited when compiling charges for prosecution, affecting chances for the maximum possible sentence.

“If the mandatory sentence is five years just for possession, the law should say so, I think if we do so we would have made more progress.”

This view was shared by Superintendent Sibangilizwe Mukwena who said maximum conviction was sometimes not secured due to reference to laws that did not prescribe most deterrent sentences to convicted criminals.

He said since January, police had handled 31 serious cases of vandalism and theft of power infrastructure and were doing a lot to deter, investigate and prevent recurrence of such in collaboration with other parties.

Chief magistrate Mishrod Guvamombe said the courts of law followed due process and justice delivery process and required sufficient evidence during prosecution and if that is availed conviction could be secured.

Solar Expo set for Bulawayo

Solar Expo set for Bulawayo

Brighton Gumbo Business Reporter
BULAWAYO will host an inaugural expo on solar energy this weekend to deliberate on the development of renewable energy opportunities in solar power.

The expo is being organised by SNV Netherlands, a non-governmental organisation in partnership with council, solar companies and the provincial leadership.

More than 25 major solar companies are expected to participate at the expo.

SNV Head of renewable energy sector Chandi Makuyana said: “The solar fairs will create marketing spaces for SNV trained youth entrepreneurs in partnership with the central distributors to engage the market and showcase the wide variety of holistic, quality solar products and solutions that are available and affordable”.

He said their initiative has received support from big corporates such as Total Zimbabwe, Solar Shack, Samansco, Gemwitts and GreenDot.

Makuyana revealed that Total Zimbabwe, in partnership with SNV, have already trained 360 youth entrepreneurs drawn from rural and peri-urban communities in marketing of its new brand of lights and lanterns.

A financial advisory support has been set up for the project by different financial institutions such as FBC through its micro plan programme.

The expo will explain how customers who wish to install solar home systems can access finance as part of awareness campaigns under the theme, “Solar Kumusha/ISolar Ekhaya’ and ‘Zvirikufaya ne/Ziyakhipha nge solar’.

“We’ve indeed seen the lives of communities in rural areas transformed by the use of solar products and every rural household deserves to have solar solutions for power and lights,” said Makuyana.

He said similar expos will be held in Lupane, Karoi, Mutare, Mt Darwin, Masvingo and Mutoko.

SNV Zimbabwe has been in Zimbabwe since 1983 contributing to poverty reduction and economic growth in line with the country’s medium-term plan and the global millennium development goals.

$3bn Lusulu power plant construction expected to begin next year

$3bn Lusulu power plant construction expected to begin next year

THE construction of independent power producer, Pan-African Energy Resources (PER)’s proposed 2,000 MW Lusulu Coal Power Plant in Binga should commence in the first half of 2016 if the Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority (Zera) approves the company’s proposedamendments to its generation licence.

The investor is seeking to have its licence amended after failing to initiate its proposed $3 billion project within the set timelines.

PER Lusulu Power was granted a generation licence in October 2010, with one of the key conditions of being given the licence being that the independent power producer should have commenced work on site within one year of receiving the licence.

However, since the issuance of the licence in the last quarter of 2010, the proposed 2,000 MW coal fired-power plant is yet to get off the ground.

Indications from the company are that it now finally wants to commence the process of establishing the power plant by submitting a Grid Impact Assessment study from the Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company (ZETDC) by the end of October this year.

PER Lusulu Power has finally engaged investors willing to fund the project.

In December last year, Zera chief executive Gloria Magombo — while acknowledging the project had overrun the initial implementation plan by two years — noted some progress the company had achieved.

“A preliminary feasibility study report has been submitted and a new lead financier has been identified. The promoter has identified various contracting companies relevant to the project and MoUs have been signed,” said Magombo at the time.

In a statement last week Zera said it had “received an application for amendment of generation Licence number GC0016 issued on 26th October, 2010 to PER Group Ventures (Pvt) Ltd trading as PER Lusulu Power to construct, own, operate and maintain a 2,000MW thermal power station for the purpose of generation and supply of electricity in Zimbabwe. PER Lusulu is seeking to amend . . . conditions of the licence, which are linked to the implementation time frame of the project”.

The application for amendment of the licence by PER Lusulu is being done in terms of Section 49 (1) (b) of the Electricity Act (Chapter 13:19) of 2009.

In terms of the new conditions requested by the IPP, Phase I of the project (that is, construction of 500MW should begin 30 days after all the project and financing agreements have been signed and all the required conditions contained in them have been met, whose date has been provisionally fixed as March 31, 2016.

According to PER Lusulu — to the extent that the licence amendments are approved by Zera — the four phase construction project will now be expected to be completed and fully operational by the second half of 2021.

The PER Lusulu Power station, to be sited on the southern side of Lake Kariba, is within Binga’s Lusulu coalfields, with an estimated resource of 1.2 billion tonnes.

Earlier in March, Engineer Magombo told the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Mines and Energy larger IPPs — whose capital requirements are huge — were struggling to get off the ground.

She hastened to add that some IPPs had since approached Zera requesting for changes in the parameters of their licences due to “circumstances beyond their control”.

According to data provided by Zera, four mini-hydro projects by Nyangani Renewable Energy (Pvt) Ltd are currently operational, namely Duru, Pungwe A, Pungwe B and Nyamingura with total output of 21MW.

Other operational IPPs include Chisumbanje which currently supplies up to 4MW to the national grid, and Hippo Valley and Triangle Estates co-generation at a total 78MW. — BH24

Ernst & Young to advise on Batoka project

Ernst & Young to advise on Batoka project

Villagers in the Sikumbi and Chisuma areas, which are nearer to the Batoka Gorges have embraced the project

Villagers in the Sikumbi and Chisuma areas, which are nearer to the Batoka Gorges have embraced the project

Sydney Kawadza Senior Reporter
The Zambezi River Authority has engaged Ernst & Young as financial and legal transaction advisors for the development of the Batoka Gorge Hydro Electric Scheme.

Addressing an inception workshop in Livingstone recently, ZRA chief executive Engineer Munyaradzi Munodawafa said the Financial and Legal Transaction Advisory Services Contract sat on the critical path of the Batoka Gorge Hydro Electric Scheme development plan as the consultant is expected to analyse the different transaction structures, including options for Public Private Partnerships, or Build, Operate, Transfer or Engineering Procurement and Construction.

“The advisors would recommend the most optimum and bankable structure that takes into consideration the prevailing market conditions, priorities of the stakeholders involved and the technical parameters and development schedule resulting from the updated feasibility study

The advisory services team comprises international experts in finance and legal services.

Participants were drawn from the Batoka Gorge Hydro Electric Scheme Project Steering Committee and the Project Management Unit appointed by the Governments of Zambia and Zimbabwe.

The financial and legal advisors component completes the list of the vital project preparatory works which have taken three years to be concluded.

Eng Munodawafa commended the World Bank for financing the preparatory studies of the Batoka Gorge Hydro Electric Scheme through a grant under the Co-operation in International Waters in Africa.

According to ZRA, these preparatory studies consist of: updating of the engineering feasibility studies, updating of environmental and social impact assessment studies as well as the financial and legal transaction advisory services.

Eng Munyaradzi also assured the stakeholders and the consultants that the two governments were committed to making timely decisions necessary for the services to be completed as planned.

“The Governments of Zambia and Zimbabwe are aware that the success and speedy implementation of the assignment will depend on decisions to be made by the two Governments.”

Ernst & Young presented the scope of their work in the infrastructure and project finance for the Batoka Gorge Hydro Electric Scheme which included the relevant steps required from their advisory services.

They clarified the role of project finance in infrastructure development and the requirement for due diligence in such processes for effective implementation of the project.

It is against this background that the team brings on board technical, financial as well as legal expertise for carrying out the exercise.

Eng Munodawafa urged the three consultants Studio Pietrangeli, Environmental Resource Management and Ernst & Young to work closely as their processes and outputs were interrelated and the results thereof are critical to effective and timeous execution of the Batoka Hydro Electric Scheme.

Zim power projects on course

Zim power projects on course

by Business Reporter Sunday, Jul 5, 2015 | 203 views
 
 

Africa Moyo

Business Reporter

EXPANSION of Kariba South Power Station to add an additional 300MW to the national grid is on schedule, with the project forecast for completion within set timeframes.

The project dovetails with regional pursuits meant to pull Sadc out of the electricity deficit position it is presently in.

Indications are that by 2018 the power supply situation in Zimbabwe and the region would have improved significantly.

Zimbabwe Power Company MD Engineer Noah Gwariro told The Sunday Mail Business that although there were some hiccups, the project would be concluded by December 2017 as planned.

ZPC is a unit of the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority.

The injection of 300MW into the local power pool will help alleviate shortages blighting domestic and industrial users.

Already, drilling of four of the six access tunnels has been completed, with the rest on course for completion in the “next few weeks”.

“Drilling and blasting is in progress to carve out the underground powerhouse and the head race tunnels which will direct water from the lake to the turbines.

“We are also working on the excavation of the intake and outlet areas. Manufacturing and procurement of the electromechanical equipment has started in China, and these will monitored and reviewed until completion.

“We are on schedule and we anticipate that the first generation unit will be commissioned in December 2017, and the second in March 2018,” said Eng Gwariro.

He said they had put in place a recovery plan for the two remaining access tunnels.

The project is being undertaken by Sino Hydro Corporation largely via a US$533 million China Exim Bank loan. Sino Hydro owns about 70 percent of China’s thermal power stations.

On completion, Kariba South Power Station’s generation capacity will grow from of 750MW to 1 050MW.

There are, however, lingering concerns over the project cost after Sino Hydro quoted Zambia’s government US$421,1 million for a bigger project – the Kariba North Bank project in Siavonga to generate 360MW.

Kariba North Bank extension began in 2008 and was completed on August 20, 2014 with the commissioning of the second and final 180MW generator.

Meanwhile, Eng Gwariro said expansion of Hwange Thermal Power Station had also started and preliminary geotechnical and topographical studies were complete.

“Upon finalisation of financial closure, it is expected that the first unit will be commissioned after 36 months,” he said.

It is estimated that expansion of the thermal power plant, which will feed 600MW to the grid, will gobble more than US$1,1 billion. Government’s power projects will augment similar efforts across Sadc.

According to Southern African Power Pool (SAPP), a grouping of power utilities, Zimbabwe has an installed capacity of 2 045MW. However, as at last Thursday, the country was generating 1 349MW, with Kariba and Hwange producing a combined 1 270MW.

The two have installed capacity of 1 670MW. On completion, the country’s two marquee projects will bring an additional 900MW to the national grid and catapult installed generation capacity to 2 945MW.

The Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority has licensed 22 power projects, 19 of them private and three State-owned. Only four private producers, all in the Eastern Highlands are feeding the national power grid. These are Duru (2,2MW), Nyamingura (1,1MW), Pungwe A (2,75MW) and Chisumbanje Power Plant (8MW).

Triangle Limited, which has an installed capacity of 45MW and Hippo Valley (33MW), are generating power for own consumption using bagasse.

Chisumbanje is consuming about 4MW at its ethanol project.

Pungwe B is expected to be commissioned this year and will contribute 15MW to the grid.

Eng Gwariro also said the tender for the 30MW Gairezi hydroelectric project, also in the Eastern Highlands, closed on June 9, 2015; while adjudication of the commercial envelope for 300MW solar projects concluded and documents were with the State Procurement Board.

The Zimbabwe Power Company, a Zesa subsidiary, is also fulfilling conditions for funding of Harare Power Station repowering project while tenders for Bulawayo and Munyati power stations ran until June 16, 2015.

A revised project schedule released by Zera last Wednesday showed that Pan-African Energy Resource, the French developers of the 2 000MW coal-fired plant in Binga, plan to commission the first phase of the project by mid-2019.

Overall, Sadc has reduced the power deficit by 3 000MW over the last year and is expected to add another 27 000MW by 2018 as Zimbabwe, Zambia, Botswana, DRC, Angola and South Africa ramp up generation.

The region has peak demand of 54 000MW against generation capacity of 51 000 MW.

Since the last major electricity crisis in the region in 2008, power demand has increased and power projects generating 1 100MW are commissioned annually. But until 2018, load shedding is expected to continue.

South Africa is enduring electricity blackouts but has some five projects targeted for commissioning this year, producing an additional 1 828MW.

Coal will contribute the largest share of the new generation capacity in South Africa, with the coal-fired Medupi Power Station expected to have additional capacity of 738MW by the end of this year. The country is also expected to contribute 435MW from co-generation capacity between national power utility Eskom and an IPP.

Botswana recently announced it would load shed this winter. That country has peak demand of 600MW and relies on imports from Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Zambia.

Shumba Coal, a Botswana company, announced Tuesday that it plans to develop a solar power station to generate up to 200MW of electricity.

The Zambia Power Rehabilitation Project has so far rehabilitated and upgraded the Kafue Gorge Power Station from 900MW to 990MW, reinstated the Victoria Falls Power Station to its full generating capacity of 108MW and up-rated the Kariba North Bank power station from 600MW to 720MW.

Kariba North Bank Extension (360MW) was completed last year while the Kafue Gorge Lower Hydro Project (750MW) is set for completion in 2017. Itezhi-Tezhi Hydro Power Project (120MW) was completed in February 2015.

Construction of the 14,8MW Lunzua hydro power plant has also been completed at a cost of US$51,6 million.

An estimated 80 percent of Malawians live in rural areas and the bulk of them use paraffin burners locally known as “kaliboyi” or “nyale” for lighting due to the country’s low power capacity.

Malawi has installed capacity of 351MW against demand of 360MW.

Estimates show country will require not less than 1 000MW by 2018.

Angola plans to spend US$23,3 billion on 65 water and electricity projects over the next two years, while the DRC is due to add 430MW this year.

Eskom eyes 2,400MW Sengwa power project

Eskom eyes 2,400MW Sengwa power project

Prosper Ndlovu Business Editor
SOUTH African power utility, Eskom, has expressed interest in bankrolling implementation of the long awaited 2,400MW Sengwa Power Project, which has been in limbo for the past two decades.

Given the widening power supply gap in the region, experts have urged regional joint venture investments to boost power production — a key ingredient for investment and economic growth.

The project, then named Gokwe North Power Station, was mooted in the 1990s jointly by Zesa, the National Power of the United Kingdom and Rio Zim.

It was developed to feasibility stage but has failed to move beyond that stage.

The government, under the then Zimbabwe Electricity Regulatory Commission, granted Rio Zimbabwe Limited an independent producer licence in 2010 to establish a power plant in the coal-rich Sengwa area in Gokwe North.

Nothing has happened to date.

Parliamentarians expressed disquiet over the project last week when they asked Energy and Power Development Minister Samuel Undenge to clarify the status of the project and the duration of validity of the licence.

“Currently, Sengwa Power Station is negotiating for possible off-take agreements anchored by Eskom of South Africa and other regional utilities, to guarantee bankability of the project,” Minister Undenge responded.

“It’s important to note that due to its size, the project can’t be supported by the Zimbabwe market alone and it requires other regional markets as off-takers to make it bankable. The current efforts to raise funds are based on the original 1,200MW capacity the Gokwe North Plant had envisaged.”

RioZim, which has announced plans to exit Zimbabwe by selling its stake in Murowa Diamonds and Sengwa coalfields, has said it needed about $2.1 billion to build power plants that would produce up to 1,400 megawatts of electricity.

The company’s chief executive officer Noah Matimba recently said they were in talks with regional power trading firm, Southern African Power Pool and big Zimbabwean electricity users about an agreement to sell electricity to them.

“We do need a power purchase agreement in order that we can attract investors or attract those lenders that can give us (money),” Matimba said.

“We’ve signed an MoU with the Southern African Power Pool in the hope that we can begin to discuss a power purchase agreement with them and be able to create the necessary demand to attract investors.”

The power station project is capable of generating up to 2,000MW of power, almost as much as Zimbabwe’s demand. The proposed project envisages the construction of a number of smaller power plants over the next ten years.

The minister said the government was disturbed by the tendency by some operators who hold on to their licences for speculative purposes.

“To avoid this, the regulator, Zera, is now issuing conditional licences outlining the milestones to be accomplished to the point of project commissioning,” he said.

Minister Undenge warned that if the current efforts by Sengwa Power Company, which are expected to be finalised before end of 2015, fail to materialise, “Zera may be left with no option but to cancel the licence as the promoter would have failed to fulfil the licence conditions”.

He said the regulator will continue reviewing all licensed IPPs to ensure timely implementation of proposed projects.

ZESA to import Zambian power

ZESA to import Zambian power

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ntabazinduna to get power station

Ntabazinduna to get power station

 

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

BY NQOBILE BHEBHE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

SADC In Energy Crisis

SADC In Energy Crisis

Andrew Kunambura 18 Jun 2015
LEADERS

Some of the SADC head of states

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

Zim Faces Unprecedented Power Crisis

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

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

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

Thumbs-up for Mutirikwi mini-hydro power plant

Thumbs-up for Mutirikwi mini-hydro power plant

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Reprieve for wheat farmers

Reprieve for wheat farmers

 

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

BY SILENCE CHARUMBIRA

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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