Commercial Farmers Union of Zimbabwe

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Batoka delays cost $45bn

Batoka delays cost $45bn


File pic of a gorge.

Delayed construction of the Batoka Gorge Hydro Electric power plant has resulted in economic losses to Zimbabwe and Zambia of at least $45 billion, the World Bank has said.

Zimbabwe and Zambia are constructing a hydro-electricity generating plant on the Batoka Gorge of the Zambezi River at a cost of an estimated $3 billion, which is expected to produce 1 600 megawatts to be shared equally between the two countries.

The Batoka hydro project was conceived in 1972 out of a study that the Central African Power Corporation (the predecessor of the Zambezi River Authority) instituted but construction was delayed due to various issues including an impasse between the two states over an outstanding, colonial-era debt.

The World Bank, through its organ, the Co-operation in International Waters in Africa (CIWA) assisted in resolving the impasse, paving way for the project to take off.


CIWA, a World Bank-financed $2 billion portfolio, helps facilitate dialogue between riparian states (countries that share rivers) to drive the development of water resources for sustainable growth.

In a paper on the Collaborative Management of the Zambezi River Basin, the bank said an analysis of the foregone benefits associated with delayed implementation showed huge economic losses to Zimbabwe and Zambia.

“The missed opportunity amounted to an estimated $7 billion in foregone electricity sales and an overall economic loss of over $45 billion,” it said.

It said current efforts were being focused on mobilising the technical and operational resources needed to advance the development of the Batoka Gorge power plant.

This includes updating engineering studies, undertaking a new environmental and social impact assessment, and conducting legal and institutional reviews of the ZRA.

“In terms of infrastructure development, the Batoka Gorge Hydro Electricity Scheme (HES) will ultimately secure the energy needs of more than 1,2 million households equally split between Zambia and Zimbabwe.

“Conjunctive operation of the Batoka Gorge HES with the existing Kariba Dam will also increase the overall energy production by 8 962GWh per year.”

Once complete, the Batoka hydro-electricity plant is expected to greatly improve power supply in the two countries, which are grappling with shortages at the moment.

The proposed hydroelectric scheme is located on the Batoka Gorge on the Zambezi River, about 54km downstream of the Victoria Falls, across the boundary between Zambia and Zimbabwe.

The project is one of several that the Zimbabwe Government has embarked on to bridge the power deficit in the country.

It would also assist improve the generation mix which is currently skewed in fervour of coal-fired plants.

Zimbabwe generates below 1 500 megawatts most of the times against demand of over 2 000 megawatts during peak periods, forcing the country to supplement internal power generation with imports from regional power utilities. — New Ziana.

Ease power cuts, Made tells Zesa

Ease power cuts, Made tells Zesa

Dr Made

Dr Made

Elita Chikwati Agriculture Reporter
Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development Minister Dr Joseph Made, has appealed to zesa Holdings for lenience on electricity power cuts that are affecting farmers in most parts of the country. He said his ministry was engaging the Ministry of Energy and Power Development to see how the situation could be improved to save crops under irrigation.

Dr Made said the most affected crop was wheat which was nearing maturity. He said farmers were failing to irrigate the crop fully due to constant power cuts, which may also affect seed production which relies on irrigation. “Constant electricity cuts have affected most farmers who are completing their wheat crop and starting summer crop seed producers and those into horticulture.

“I intervened to reduce imports and now the challenge is electricity being cut. I appeal on behalf of farmers to zesa Holdings, to save some crops that were about to mature. If possible, the farms should be spared and allow the crop to mature and be harvested. Otherwise the efforts that have been put in place by all stakeholders including bankers who supported with funding will be put to waste,” he said.

Dr Made expressed concern that some farmers were switching to generators but this was proving to be unviable.

CZI engages Zesa on power outages

CZI engages Zesa on power outages

Brighton Gumbo Business Reporter
THE Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI) has engaged Zesa to analyse the impact of power outages on industry following the recent announcement of increased loadshedding. The Zimbabwe Power Company recently reduced power generation at Kariba Hydropower Station from 705 megawatts to 475MW due to lower dam water levels.

The country is now producing a combined daily output of 1,300MW against demand of 2,200MW. CZI president Busisa Moyo said in an interview that industry was worried about the shortage of power for the manufacturing sector. “We’re still analysing the impact of power cuts on industries. We’ve engaged Zesa in the analysis seeking clarity on the effects of the reduced daily power generation of 450MW,” he said.

Moyo said the power shortage was likely to disrupt efforts by industry to increase capacity utilisation. He said loadshedding might lead to depressed production which could lead to further job losses.

“Employment is threatened as a result of the power shortages. The people that were reinstated after the enactment of the new Labour Law are going to lose their jobs as there’ll be no production taking place in industries due to increased loadshedding,” he said.

Moyo said low industrial productivity as a result of power outages coupled with high production costs could not sustain a huge labour force. “Companies are struggling as a result of high fixed costs against reduced production. Capacity utilisation is actually well below what we’re expecting,” said Moyo.

CZI has projected that capacity utilisation in the manufacturing sector would this year go down from 36,3 percent to about 29 percent due to the prevailing economic challenges.

$250 million solar power projects get greenlight

$250 million solar power projects get greenlight

Harare Bureau
The Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority has so far licensed five solar projects valued at $250 million which are expected to produce 160 megawatts (MW). Zera chief executive Engineer Gloria Magombo told our Harare Bureau yesterday that licensed solar power projects are at different stages within the Project Development cycle.

“Some of the projects are at Pre-feasibility stage, some have conducted feasibility studies including Environmental Impact Assessments and are moving towards Project Financing and Power Purchase Agreement stage,” said Engineer Magombo.

She said the value of the projects varies as project promoters’ source their materials from different countries but the estimated cost of the five projects is about $250 million.

The five projects include De Green, Geo-base, Yellow Africa, Plum Solar and Oursun. She said the country is also expected to benefit from an approximately 3x100MW solar projects to be funded by the Zimbabwe Power Company which are still at the tendering stage.

Engineer Magombo said the Rural Electrification Agency has several solar mini-grid projects which are at rural health centres and rural schools across the country.

“There are also several small scale solar projects across the country that are powering different equipment and providing lighting at household, company and farm level.

“The rural energy master plan (which is currently being developed by the Rural Electrification Agency) will provide a more accurate evaluation of the level of solar energy penetration in rural settlements in the country,” she said.

Zimbabwe is among the countries in Southern Africa with the best conditions for solar photovoltaic energy and is currently attracting investors into the sector.

Zera was commissioned by the government to develop a feed-in tariff policy, aimed at boosting private sector participation in the development of renewable energy sources.

Power Supply Update advertisement in Herald 4 September 2015




ZESA Holdings would like to advise its valued customers countrywide of the reduction in generation at Kariba Power Station due to depleted dam water levels, commencing on Tuesday, 1st September, 2015 at 1800hrs, in compliance with the Zambezi River Authority (ZRA) requirement to scale down on water consumption.

Generation will consequently be reduced from the normal 750MW to 475MW until dam levels have-risen to the requisite levels.

During this period, the Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) will take full advantage of the reduction of Units in service at Kariba to undertake the annual statutory maintenance, scheduled to be conducted between the 1st September, 2015 and 28th January, 2016.

Whilst generation at thermal power stations is not affected by hydrological issues, Units at Hwange Power Station will also undergo statutory maintenance which will be completed by 7th October, 2015, to ensure greater safety and reliability going forward.

The power utility further advises customers that the planned annual maintenance of Hwange and the reduction in water levels at Kariba dam will lead to changes being effected to the previously publicized load sheddingschedule.

Consumers will experience suppressed power supplies until generation is brought back to normal levels.

Although the effects of load shedding will be minimized with possible power imports where available, ZESA Holdings urges consumers to use the available power very sparingly to minimize the extent and duration of loadshedding.

ZESA Holdingssincerely apologisesforthe unavoidable inconvenience caused.

Power black outs to worsen

Power black outs to worsen

no powerBusiness Reporter
POWER cuts blighting Zimbabwe will get worse until early next month due to reduced generation at Kariba and statutory maintenance at Hwange. The two power stations account for most of the country’s power supply needs, but even in the absence of the temporary setbacks, fall short of demand. Littlecontribution, however, comes from Harare, Bulawayo and Munyati small thermal stations, which are operating at grossly suppressed capacity.

A similar exercise at Hwange thermal station between August and September 2012 took a total of 160 megawatts out of the national power grid. Power utility Zesa Holdings were not available yesterday to shed light on the extent of the loss to the national grid due to maintenance at Hwange. But the 750 megawatt Kariba South station will scale down output to a maximum 475MW after Zambezi River Authority cut down water allocation.

Zesa Holdings earlier said the reduced water allocation will also affect permitted maximum power generation for Zambia from 1080MW to 305MW.

ZRA reduced water allocation shared equally between the neighbouring power utilities to 40 billion cubic metres from the previous 45 billion cubic metres. his comes after studies showed that continuing at the previous water consumption rate would result in water levels falling below the prescribed levels. Water levels in the Kariba Dam, have fallen markedly this year due to the fact that the two countries did not receive good rains in the last season.

In July, the lake water levels stood at 480m above sea levels, 1,05 percent less than the same period last year against minimum draw down levels of 475m. The Zimbabwe Power Company generates electricity on the southern bank of the dam while Zambia power utility Zesco works on the northern end. Zesa Holdings yesterday said that generation would be reduced at Kariba South in compliance with ZRA’s directive to reduce water consumption. “Generation will be reduced from the normal 750MW until Dam levels have risen to the requisite levels,” the national power utility said in a statement.

It added that while thermal power stations were not prone to hydrological issues, units at Hwange will undergo statutory maintenance. This will affect generation between September 1 and October 7. “The power utility advises customers that the planned annual maintenance of Hwange and reduction in water levels will lead to changes being effected to previously publicised loading shedding schedule.

“Customers will experience suppressed power supplies until generation (at Hwange and Kariba) is brought back to normal levels,” Zesa said. Zimbabwe is constantly in the grips of rolling power cuts due to generation constraints largely caused by old equipment and insufficient capacity. The country requires 2 200MW at peak of demand, but was generating an average of 1 300MW to be dented by developments at Kariba and Hwange. This has raised the call for continuous initiatives to have wider generation mix to minimise the full impact of seasonal factors such as low rainfall.

‘Generation diversity key to power supply’

‘Generation diversity key to power supply’

Kariba South remains a strategic source of hydro power, which is significantly cheaper compared to thermal

Kariba South remains a strategic source of hydro power, which is significantly cheaper compared to thermal

Golden Sibanda Senior Business Reporter
ENSURING a diverse generation mix will be critical in maintaining consistent power supply, experts have warned in the wake of water rationing that has limited generation at Kariba South Power Station, one of Zimbabwe’s two largest power stations. The Zambezi River Authority has reduced from 45 billion to 40 billion cubic meters water shared between Zimbabwe Power Company and ZESCO of Zambia, which operates the power station on the northern bank of Lake Kariba. ZRA did an analysis of the water flows and made presentations to stakeholders, including the two power utilities.

ZPC produces 750MW on the southern bank while ZESCO generates 1 080MW on the northern bank. It was determined that continuing at previous levels of water consumption to generate power would result in the lake water falling below the minimum draw-down level of 475,5 metres before the next rainy season (by November 2015). As at end of July, water use by both utilities was above the allocation, partly due to the seasonal peak demand.

ZRA did a re-run of the simulation to determine the remaining allocation and recommended the level of generation of each utility as 305MW for Kariba North and 475MW for Kariba South. Against this background where generation and supply can be affected by factors such as drought, observers said a good generation mix mitigates the extent of the impact of such factors. Limitless potential exists to increase power production through solar power stations, as the country has excellent climatic conditions that guarantee plenty of sunshine all year round.

Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company managing director Engineer Julian Chinembiri said it was critically important to have a good power generation mix to be able to maintain balanced power supply.

“Zimbabwe can have one of the best generation mixes in the world. The other such country is Brazil. A good generation mix means you can use the other source, for example thermal, when you have seasonal interruption caused by drought,” he said. Eng Chinembiri said that with a good generation mix the country can afford to alternate between the different sources of energy, which would also impact on the tariff or cost of power, with biggest benefits coming from use of hydro-power. Most of the country’s power presently comes from 750MW Kariba South power station and 920MW Hwange thermal station, which is currently generating an average of 435Mw.

Plans are afoot to redesign and refurbish the three small thermal stations in Bulawayo, Munyati and Harare through re-powering exercises that are expected to provide over 300MW. Zimbabwe has struggled to maintain balanced supply due to various generation interruptions induced by ageing equipment and weather patterns. Nonetheless, it has an excellent generation mix that includes, mainly, hydro power and thermal power stations in the form of Kariba South and Hwange.

Adequate power supply in the face of growing demand in the economy, urbanisation and development of rural communities will require maintaining generation at optimal levels across the country’s varied sources of power. This comes as analysts have hitherto posed questions about the idea behind a staggering $536 million investment into expanding Kariba’s capacity, which has been affected by low rainfall in the upper Zambezi catchment this season. Government is also pursuing expansion of Hwange through units 7 and 8 at a cost of $1,2 billion, which will add another 600MW to the grid. Kariba South will add 300MW, allowing more flexibility during peak hours although not adding to total energy generate in a year. “This is one of the major disadvantages of hydro-power stations, they are susceptible to droughts. In this part of the world where we experience droughts now and again we need a good generation mix of hydro and thermal,” said an analyst.

Zimbabwe electricity cuts to worsen on power plants maintenance

Zimbabwe electricity cuts to worsen on power plants maintenance


Zimbabwe’s two biggest electricity generation plants will start annual routine maintenance on Tuesday, leading to even deeper power cuts in the southern African nation, the state-owned utility said.


At best, Zimbabwe produces 1,345 megawatts (MW), half its peak demand, forcing local industries to use costly diesel generators to keep operations running. Electricity shortages have been blamed for keeping away potential investors.


Hwange Power Station

The two power stations set for maintenance are Hwange, a coal-fired station in the west and Kariba hydro plant in the north, which jointly produce 90 percent of Zimbabwe’s power.

The Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA) said Hwange would undergo maintenance until Oct. 7, while Kariba, which has cut back on generation due to low water levels, would see its maintenance stretch to Jan. 28.

“Consumers will experience suppressed power supplies until generation is brought back to normal levels,” ZESA said in a statement.

Hwange has a capacity of 920 megawatts but ageing and frequent breakdown of equipment has kept its production around 496 MW.

Zimbabwe Power Company, ZESA’s subsidiary, last week said it would cut electricity generation by a third to 475 megawatts (MW) at Kariba due to low dam water levels.

ZESA said it would import electricity from neighbouring countries if it is available. However most of them, including South Africa and Zambia, are also grappling with power supply shortages of their own.

On Monday, Africa’s richest man, Nigeria’s Aliko Dangote, said he plans to open a $400 million cement plant in Zimbabwe and would also look at investing in coal and power generation.

US$115m power boost for Zesa

US$115m power boost for Zesa

by Debra Matabvu Sunday, Aug 30, 2015 | 1004 views

AT least US$115 million has been secured from India to develop and rehabilitate Zimbabwe’s major electricity generation installations as part of measures to improve power supply in the country. Zimbabwe, like other Sadc countries, faces electricity shortages due to increased demand triggered by industrial and population growth in the region.

The Sunday Mail has established that national power utility, Zesa, secured the funds under a government-to-government credit facility to improve generation at the Hwange and Bulawayo electricity plants. Talks are underway to finalise similar financing for Harare Thermal Power Station.

India has agreed to part with US$115,6 million for rehabilitation Bulawayo Thermal Power Station and to refurbish the Deka water pipeline to Hwange Thermal Power Station. Bulawayo will get about US$87 million of the US$100 million required to repower the small thermal station that has been mothballed for 10 years.

The repowering will see the station generate 90MW, up from current capacity of 30MW. Refurbishment of the Deka pipeline, which takes water from the Zambezi River to Hwange Thermal Power Station, has began after India released US$28,6 million to Zesa late last year.

The Deka project is expected to be completed in early 2016. Zimbabwe and India are working on the finer details for the release of a US$70 million loan that will repower two small thermal power stations in Harare to produce 60MW — up from 20MW.

Indian firm Jaguar Overseas has been awarded the tender to repower the stations. The Secretary for Energy and Power Development Mr Partson Mbiriri said: “Implementation of the tabled projects by Zesa would go a long way in easing the power shortage that is prevailing not only in the country but in the region as a whole.”

Currently, Zimbabwe produces 1 300MW of electricity against demand of 2 200MW.

Low water cuts Kariba power plant output

Low water cuts Kariba power plant output


The Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) will cut electricity generation by a third to 475 megawatts (MW) at the Kariba hydro power plant due to low water levels, the company said on Thursday, likely worsening daily power cuts.


Kariba produces half of Zimbabwe’s electricity. The cut back will also affect Zimbabwe’s northern neighbour Zambia, which draws water from Kariba Dam.

The southern African country is producing a maximum 1,345 MW of power, half its peak demand, forcing local industries to use costly diesel generators to keep operations running. Electricity shortages have been blamed for keeping away potential investors.


ZPC said in a statement that generating power at current levels of 705 MW would lower water at Kariba Dam below minimum accepted levels before the start of the rainy season in November.

This would result in “a possible shut down of the station for the next two months,” ZPC said.

Chinese company Sino Hydro is adding another 300 MW to Kariba, a project which should be completed by the end of 2018.

ZPC has previously said Zimbabwe plans to build new power stations to generate 3,500 megawatts at a cost of $5 billion to end chronic power cuts that have damaged the economy.


ZRA rations Kariba water for power

ZRA rations Kariba water for power

Mr Gwasira

Mr Gwasira

Business Reporter
THE Zimbabwe Power Company, is now allowed to generate a maximum of 475 megawatts from the 750Mw capacity Kariba South plant, due to water rationing by the Zambezi River Authority.

The water allocation has been revised down to 40 billion cubic metres from 45 billion shared equally between Zimbabwe Power Company and neighbouring Zambia power utility, ZESCO. The two generate on the Southern and Northern banks of the dam.

In light of the development at Kariba South, ZPC has reportedly implored the State Procurement Board to speed up awarding of tenders for planned power projects, including turnkey solar power initiatives with a combined capacity of 300Mw.

This comes amid concerns that the reduced water allocation could worsen power supply, as has already happened in Zambia, which now obtains only 20 percent of its requirement from Kariba North from the previous 80 percent.

The ZRA, which manages Zambezi River on which Kariba South is located, issued the directive to ZESA and Zambia’s power utility, on concerns of the continued drop in the lake water levels.

While Zimbabwe is allowed to generate up to a maximum 475Mw, Zambia’s power utility ZESCO will be permitted to churn out a limited 305Mw out of a capacity of 1 080Mw to avoid a continuous drop of lake levels to below stated levels.

“It was determined that continuing at current levels of generation would result in the lake falling below the minimum draw-down level of 475,5m before the onset of the rainy season (by November 2015), with possible shut down of the station for two months,” Zesa spokesperson Mr Fullard Gwasira yesterday.

Mr Gwasira said Lake Kariba had received significantly lower inflows in the 2014-2015 hydrological year compared to the same period last year and the long term mean inflows.

This, coupled with high generation at the Kariba complex, has resulted in the lake level continuing to decline. The lake level at the end of July 2015 was 480,81m above sea level. This is 1,05 percent below the lake level for the same period in 2014 which was at 485,91 metres above sea level.

As at the end of July the water utilisation by both utilities was above the allocation, partly due to the seasonal peak demand.

ZRA has re-run the simulation to determine the remaining allocation and recommended level of generation of each utility going forward as 305Mw for Kariba North (Zambia) and 475Mw for Kariba South (Zimbabwe).

Given the situation, Kariba South power station will continue with the planned level of power generation during winter and then scale down water utilisation after the winter period.

While the Kariba South power station can be dispatched at maximum load during peak demand period the power output will be scaled down significantly outside the peak periods.

The available thermal generation at Hwange and other small stations in Bulawayo and Kwekwe will be fully dispatched.

Mr Gwasira said the Zambezi River Authority will continue to monitor the utilities so that they do not overuse their water allocation.

Zimbabwe would need to move with haste to implement planned power generation to increase output with current average production of 1 300Mw far below demand of 2 200Mw.

This has raised concern around unjustified delays by the SPB in approving a number of planned power generation projects in contradiction to dictates of targets under Zim-Asset.

Government is working to raise generation capacity through Hwange thermal 7 and 8, re-powering Bulawayo 120Mw, Munyati re-powering 100Mw, Mutare peaking plant 120Mw, 300Mw solar farms and Gairezi hydro 30Mw.

Zim Farmers Lament Costs Of Power

Zim Farmers Lament Costs Of Power

24 Aug 2015

farmers urge more investment in sustainable energy

THE government should channel more funding in research and investment into sustainable energy sources as electricity costs in Zimbabwe are prohibitive for commercial farming, the Zimbabwe Commercial Farmers Union (ZCFU) has said.

Wonder Chabikwa, the president of ZCFU, told a farmers’ indaba last week that apart from high electricity costs, the power shortages were making farming a risky and expensive investment.

He said by comparison, electricity costs in Zimbabwe were the highest in the Southern Africa Development Community (Sadc) region.

The cost of electricity in Zimbabwe is 14 cents per kilowatt hour (KWh) compared to Zambia, which costs between three cents and four cents per KWh while the regional average is 5,5 cents per KWh, Chabikwa said.

“Before the adoption of the multi current system, farmers used to enjoy a government subsidy, which is critical for primary production to stimulate growth. They paid 45 percent of the cost of electricity, meaning that in today’s situation a figure of 6, 3 cents KWh would be appropriate,” he said.

Alternatively, the government could remove value added tax and lower the regulation levy, he added.

Chabikwa also noted that Zimbabwe’s fuel was the most expensive in the region. For instance diesel in Zambia, which is a more landlocked country, costs on average $1, 10 against $1, 32 in Zimbabwe.

“We (farmers) recommended more research and investment into sustainable sources such as windmill, solar and biogas,” he said. The Source

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:






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


Ensuring food security through energy efficiency

By R. T. Katsande Commercial Director ZETDC


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





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 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


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

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