Zimbabwe seeks investors to end electricity woes
Tuesday, 19 July 2011 16:23
Zimbabwe’s power utility is scouting for international investors to fund a
US$1.3 billion expansion programme meant to end the country’s worsening
The Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA) says it is failing to meet
the estimated 2 200 megawatts (MW) of the country’s electricity demands as
its power stations have an installed capacity of 1 960 MW.′′
The projects, if funded will boost Zimbabwe’s generating capacity by 900
megawatts, ZESA spokesman Fullard Gwasira said.′
Gwasira said they had sent out expressions of interest to suitably qualified
contractors of financiers for financing design, construction and
The current power stations were built in the 1950s and designed for a
smaller population, with little capacity added since independence in 1980.
This has forced ZESA to ration supplies to both commercial and domestic
Efforts to plug the shortfall with imports have been undermined by the lack
of funds with ZESA said to owe regional suppliers particularly Eskom of
South Africa millions of dollars.′′
With no internal capacity – at both state and company level – to improve
this parlous state of affairs, Harare has engaged both foreign and local
independent power producers in an effort to boost generation capacity to 3
But independent power producers although keen to help, a stumbling block
has been low power tariffs of 7.5c per kilowatt hour - against a regional
average of 12.6c. ′′
Energy problems are among the key challenges said to be holding back the
country’s economic recovery.′′
Since the turn of the new millennium, the country has struggled with
intensifying blackouts of up to 18 hours a day.
The power cuts have plunged many factories and homes into darkness, as
demand outstrips supply.′′
Various high energy consuming industries have been forced to invest in
expensive alternatives such as generators.
Cane Plant Rescues ZESA
By David Masunda, CHISUMBANJE, Middle Sabi – Zimbabwe’s first ethanol only
plant will start producing between 2 to 3 megawatts daily from September,
company officials told RadioVOP.
Peter Glaum, the ethanol plant manager at Green Fuel’s massive Chisumbanje
and Middle Sabi sugar cane estates, says at full production, 18 megawatts
would be channeled into the ZESA grid to enable the embattled parastatal
meet some of its growing demand for electricity.
Green Fuel is a joint venture between private investors and the government’s
Agriculture and Rural Development Authority (ARDA). ARDA owns Chisumbanje
and Middle Sabi estates where already 5500 hectares are under sugar cane
production. The project is driven by Zimbabwean entrepreneur Billy
Rautenbach who has copied the Brazilian ethanol plant designs.
When RadioVOP visited last week, Brazilian and Zimbabwean engineers were
busy testing the plant before it can be fully commissioned within the next
two months. Glaum said depending on the cane condition (calorific value),
Green Fuel expects to produce between 2 to 3 megawatts of electricity and
350 thousand litres of ethanol daily by September.
According to company officials, the deal between the private investors
(called Rating at Chisumbanje and Macdom at Middle Sabi) is a build, operate
and transfer (BOT) arrangement with ARDA taking complete control of all the
sugar cane production in the two estates in 20 years.
As the project develops, said company officials, it is planned to introduce
villagers into small-scale sugar cane production with assistance – in the
form of cane seed, irrigation and expertise – from Green Fuel.
On the ethanol side, Green Fuel expects to produce 500 million litres of
ethanol annually in 10 years to power local vehicles, said Glaum. It will
market two types of fuel: E15 which is 15% ethanol and the rest petrol; and
E85, a highly concentrated variety that can fuel cars on its own without the
need to mix with petrol.
Zimbabwe power crisis to ease next year: minister
Sapa | 14 July, 2011 06:46
The crippling electricity crisis in Zimbabwe is likely to normalise next
year, says Energy and Power Development Minister Elton Mangoma.
He said that government was working on a comprehensive programme to increase
power output by exploiting methane gas reserves in Lupane for electricity
generation, Zimbabwe's Herald Online reported on Thursday.
Government was working "around the clock" to court private investors in the
power generation sector.
Mangoma said power generation would improve significantly next year.
"We are targeting the Lupane gas reserves, which we hope to start exploiting
for electricity generation and we are currently working on finding the right
partners for the deal."
Hwange power station now working at full capacity
By Lance Guma
12 July 2011
The was some good news for Zimbabweans this week following reports that
Hwange Power Station (HPS) is now operating at full capacity, for the first
time in 10 years. All six generators at the plant are said to be working at
A report in the NewsDay newspaper quotes HPS General Manager Ndabezinhle
Mphoko saying, “our highest peak was attained in June this year when we
produced 727 megawatts.”
Despite the dramatic improvement electricity load shedding will continue,
with officials saying demand is still outstripping supply. The country is
now able to produce 1400 megawatts but the national demand stands at 1800
megawatts and is expected to rise to 2000 megawatts as winter temperatures
continue to plunge.
This year in February the country experienced extended power cuts following
the complete shutdown of the Hwange thermal plant. ZESA blamed a series of
faults on the regional power grid and said the plant had experienced 25
‘instant shut downs’ which caused damage to equipment.
Last week it was reported Finance Minister Tendai Biti had advanced nearly
US$32 million towards the rehabilitation of power stations in the country in
a bid to increase energy output. US$26 million of this went into the
rehabilitation of the Hwange power station.
Rolling blackouts warning
The Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC), a subsidiary of the Zimbabwe Electricity
Supply Authority (ZESA), has warned of more rolling blackouts as the utility
struggles to meet demand on the back of collapsing infrastructure and
ZPC chairman Richard Maasdorp said load shedding would “remain a way of life
until we expand generation at Hwange and Kariba”.
Current total generation capacity at the two stations and smaller thermal
plants in Harare, Munyati and Bulawayo is around 1 400 megawatts against
national demand of 2 200MW.
Maasdorp however said new investment and private sector funding into
generation capacity would not be forthcoming while our tariff remains
sub-economic and in the absence of a long-term tariff formula.
The current tariff of 7.53 USc per kilowatt, was set in February 2009 and 28
months later the utility was still awaiting approval of a “cost-reflective
“In the absence of an increase to the tariff, ZPC has now had to slow down
its efforts to stabilise and optimise power from its existing power
stations. In addition efforts to raise capital for adding generation
capacity (a four-to-five-year process from when funding is secured) will be
thwarted,” the ZPC chairman warned.
He revealed that the utility has in the meantime been forced to cut back on
maintenance and ongoing refurbishment in order to compensate for the
“This is clearly not sustainable and if the situation is not addressed
urgently, the lights you have from time to time today will go out tomorrow,”
Zimbabwe has experienced rolling power cuts during the past decade due to
inadequate generation capacity by ZESA.
This has seen ZESA implementing a load management programme under which the
utility regularly switches off some customers during the day in order to
stretch the available supplies.
The daily power cuts have affected domestic consumers as well as the
business community, with some factories forced to retrench workers due to
ZESA said it was making alternative arrangements with other southern African
utilities to augment supplies during the shortages necessitated by the
ongoing maintenance work on the Kariba plant.
Zimbabwe imports about 35 percent of its power needs from the national
utilities of Mozambique, Democratic Republic of Congo, South Africa and
By Chengetai Zvauya and Helen Kadirire
Saturday, 09 July 2011 13:48
HARARE - Zimbabweans from all walks of life have demanded the immediate
dismissal of power utility firm Zesa Holdings management and the disbandment
of underperforming parastatals following paralysing power cuts throughout
Ordinary people, human rights organisations, farmers, traders and the
general populace has called on President Robert Mugabe and Prime Minister
Morgan Tsvangirai to immediately take action against Zesa board and
management as power shortages persist in the country.
The people are demanding that new heads should take over at the power
utility whose erratic supply of electricity has caused untold suffering to
farmers, patients at hospitals and industry while the darkness that befalls
every suburb in Harare has seen residents being terrorised by thugs.
Most homesteads and industries now rely on generators which are expensive to
run because of the high costs of fuel and maintenance. While management at
Zesa is busy harassing Minister of Energy Elton Mangoma, they are failing to
deliver power to the country.
The blackout is heavily felt this winter with power outages affecting
industries and residential areas.
Even the city centre this week experienced serious blackouts which severely
Farmers are also feeling the pinch of blackouts as the power shortages are
affecting their winter cropping which needs electricity to drive the water
irrigation pumps while poultry, piggery and ‘Disband Zesa’ beef projects
need electricity to be fully operational.
Farmers who spoke the Daily News said that they no longer had confidence in
the power utility and wanted it to be disbanded and be replaced by more
serious private players.
A newly-resettled farmer in the Mazowe area, Ben Chakanetsa who grows wheat,
potatoes and maize and is also into poultry and cattle breeding, said Zesa
was letting down farmers.
“We are not getting any electricity that we desperately need this winter for
our cropping and breeding programmes. For our farming season to prosper, we
need adequate supply of electricity which is not available. We hope that
Zesa is going to help us. We feel that Zesa needs to be disbanded and allow
another player to come into the industry so that we can have other options,’’
However, Zesa spokesperson Fullard Gwasira said Zesa was trying their best
to service its customers.
“It is not secret that we have been experiencing power problems since 2000,
but we are trying to do our best. I don’t know that there was power problems
in the city yesterday. I shall find out from our maintenance department what
problem affected the city and I will inform you,’’ said Gwasira, clearly
displaying the arrogance that has crept in at the struggling power utility
firm. Zesa has for many years been one of the best examples of how to
mismanage businesses and also a good example of a firm which has dismally
failed to deliver service to the people.
The country produces 1400 Megawatts a day from the power stations at Hwange,
Munyati, Kariba and Harare. Zimbabwe needs 2200 megawatts a day.
Zesa is importing 300 megawatts from Mozambique and Namibia.
Load-shedding has increased this winter season as the residential areas and
industries are spending many hours in without electricity.
Combined Harare Residents Association (CHRA) coordinator Simbarashe Moyo
said on several occasions the organisation has condemned the poor service
delivery by Zesa.
Moyo said they have been receiving many reports from their structures
complaining about load-shedding.
“The residents say that what was now happening is no longer load-shedding
but complete blackouts as some sections can be without electricity for days.
Residents are now wondering whether they should be paying their bills
considering that they hardly have power,” Moyo said.
He said there have also been reports of household electrical appliances
being damaged due to unannounced power cuts.
Moyo also said residents have now resorted to paying fixed amounts because
they do not get their statements and when they do, it is not a true
reflection of what they would have consumed.
“Residents should not be made to suffer because Zesa has debts that it is
failing to settle. They should first clear then a way forward can be forged
from there,” he said.
Glen View resident, Timothy Magede said there is no reason for Zesa
management to be still occupying their positions and taking home huge perks
while making the people suffer.
Prominent Harare resident and businessman Paddington Japajapa said it was
criminal for Zesa management to remain in office while blackouts persist.
“It’s a scandal that we still have people claiming to be bosses at Zesa
while denying people electricity. It’s like we are in a war situation. In
other countries, the board and management should have been arrested,” said
the fiery Japajapa.
Last month Bulawayo residents, mainly women organised by Women of Zimbabwe
Arise (Woza) a non-governmental organisation that advocates for women’s
rights in the country, marched in Harare and Bulawayo demanding the power
utility firm provide quality service to its customers.
They said Zesa is charging high tariffs which do not justify the shoddy
service they are providing to customers.
They gathered to sign the “anti-abuse of power petition” to express their
frustration at the persistent 18-hour power cuts which occur on a daily
Woza said Zesa was engaging in daylight robbery through the unending power
cuts but charging large amounts of money.
Woza requested Zesa to stop using fixed meters and to ensure they provided
proper timetables of load-shedding and urgently put in place a proper and
transparent billing system.
They chanted slogans, calling for justice, freedom and urgent social
Zesa owes regional suppliers more than US$100 million in accumulated debt.
Despite facing electricity supply problems, Zimbabwe is exporting power to
Namibia at a low cost. Zesa officials have in the past, defended this saying
they are paying back what they owe the Namibians.
Mangoma was not available for comment yesterday.
Govt in bid to increase power output
Thursday, 07 July 2011 21:12
GOVERNMENT had by the end of the first half of this year advanced around
US$31,9 million towards rehabilitation of power stations in a bid to
increase energy output, information seen by the Zimbabwe Independent shows.
Finance minister Tendai Biti hopes by channelling more funds into the energy
sector, electricity output that stood at 1 362 megawatts (MW) last month
could be increased at the country's power stations.
The money went into Hwange Power station (HPS), three small thermal power
stations and the rehabilitation of transmission and distribution network.
According to the information, Biti channelled US$26 million towards the
rehabilitation of Hwange Power Station, US$500 000 for three small thermal
power stations and US$5 million for the rehabilitation of the transmission
and distribution networks.
But despite government's intervention in the sector, output remains low.
According to the information, Hwange Power Station, Kariba Power Station,
Harare Thermal Power Station, Munyati Thermal Power Station and Bulawayo
Thermal Tower Station have an installed capacity of 1 920MW.
Although output is still below national demand of 2 200MW, production has
been rising steadily from a total 988MW in January to 1 363MW in June.
Output at Hwange Power Station rose from 335MW in January to 625MW in June.
Hwange Power Station has an installed capacity of 920MW. Output at Kariba
Power Station declined from March's peak of 711MW to 659 MW in June. Kariba
has an installed capacity of 750MW.
Although Munyati and Harare have installed capacity of 80MW each, the
stations operated way below installed capacities for the better part of the
half year. Harare produced 22MW in June, the highest since January, while
Munyati rose to 34MW in June from 28MW in January. Munyati produced 16 MW in
Bulawayo Thermal Power Station struggled in the same period. The station's
output rose from 17MW in February to 22MW in June. Output fell sharply in
April and May to 8 MW.
While the rehabilitation exercise enabled all the power plants to be
functional, most of the equipment is unreliable and leads to irregular
supplies, the information shows.
The US$5,4 million channelled towards rehabilitation of transmission and
distribution of power networks has been utilised for the acquisition of
Biti, according to the same information, has channelled US$7,5 million to
He also channelled US$17 million for the grain procurement, capitalisation
of Agribank and irrigation infrastructure rehabilitation.
Of the US$17 million, US$2 million was spent on rehabilitation and
development of 37 schemes out 63 schemes targeted in the budget.
A total US$19,67 million has been disbursed by treasury to cater for
establishment costs and equipment of Tokwe Mukorsi Dam. Government sees work
commencing at the dam this month.
Whilst there has largely been improvement in the implementation of some
government projects, according to the information more needs to be done by
government to ensure government adheres to its own set targets.
ZESA, politicians should be held accountable for massive forest destruction
MUTARE - Dumisani Jani (42) (not his real name) was retrenched from
employment 10 years ago leaving him with no source of income to look after
But due to continuous power cuts in the city, Jani's life is back on tracks
as he takes advantage of the continuous long power cuts by illegally cutting
down trees in a nearby forest for resale. On a good month, Jani said he
earns US$450 a month from firewood sales, twice the money earned by a civil
Owing to persistence long hours of load shedding in many high-density
suburbs of Mutare, destruction of forests for firewood purposes have become
rampant, leaving a little chance for the forest to recover in time.
suburb of Sakubva.
The once green forests of Dangamvura have been reduced to a visible desert
as residents indiscriminately cut down trees as alternative source of
Forests, mountains and farms close to the city have been the source of
firewood and have unfortunately been left bare, with no chances of recovery
in near future.
Every morning the streets of Mutare are littered with women and children who
have dropped out school and have taken selling firewood as their full time
Environmental Management Agency (EMA), Police and Forestry Commission
officials have fought running battles with firewood vendors, but it seems
they have 'relaxed' after discovering that they were fighting a loosing
Police officers have been blamed for confisticating firewood for personal
use at their homes instead of enforcing law to stop environmental
A local environmentalist said if the load shedding continued at the current
rate Zimbabwe would become a desert, as people were not replanting trees at
the rate they were cutting them.
A visit to mountains in Dora Dombo and Dangamvura proved that environment
was under siege and there was need for responsible authorities to take
She added that the mountains, which used to provide beautiful scenic view
were now bare, an indication that all was not well in the country that used
to generate excess power for export.
Villagers from Dora Dombo said the endless power cuts that have greatly
affected industries in the city were a blessing in disguise as they were
earning a living out of it.
A small bundle of firewood cost around US$1 sometimes they barter trade with
sugar, salt and mealie meal. Villagers said due to scarcity of the United
States dollar they have managed to survive through that.
Resident interviewed said they were aware of the consequences of destroying
the environment such as climate change, but they had no choice against
erratic power supply.
Other residents complained that other sources of energy such as paraffin and
gas were expensive.
Paraffin cost US$1 for a 750 ml bottle. Residents said all the blame should
be shouldered on Zesa because it was charging them tariffs, which were far
beyond their reach, but giving them shoddy service.
Residents said Zesa announcement that they should brace for more power cuts
was likely to trigger further cutting down of trees in the province.
While customers have complained that they were getting electricity for less
than four hours a day, Zimbabwe Electricity Transmittion and Distribution
Company-a subsidiary of Zesa have threatened customers with outstanding
bills to settle their bills or risk disconnection.
The notice reads:
Commentators have said Zesa should come up with lasting solutions to current
power cuts and should know that they would be held accountable for
exacerbating the destruction of the environment through its long and
unscheduled power cuts.
New farmers owe ZETDC $80m
The Zimbabwe Electricity Distribution Company Northern Region is owed over
$80 million in unpaid tariffs by new farmers who were resettled under the
controversial land grab.
15.06.1102:41pm 0 0
Lovejoy Sakala Harare
“The farmers can’t pay up their bills in time and this is affecting our
operations. They just tell us that they don’t have money but they expect a
standard service from us,” said Commercial Manager Kripson Mutyambizi.
“This is contributing to massive load shedding since the operational costs
of running Kariba and Hwange power stations comes from consumption charges.
We want them to pay up so that we can improve our service,” he added.
The company has forged an alliance with the Zimbabwe Commercial Farmers
Union to assist in collecting revenue from defiant farmers.
“The deal is that those who want to get assistance from the union must first
settle their electricity bills. You cannot do proper farming without
electricity, because you need to irrigate your crops,” said Mutyambizi.
Farmers interviewed said they cannot pay because they were not receiving
adequate support from the Government. They said they need massive capital to
buy equipment and inputs so that they embark into meaningful commercial
Finance Minister Tendai Biti said people who took over farms should take
farming as a serious business, which should boost the struggling economy.
The minister said he was against Zanu (PF)’s idea of parcelling out free
inputs to farmers every farming season saying such system had promoted a
culture of laziness and dependence.
Zesa loses US$642m annually
Tuesday, 14 June 2011 22:47
By Zvamaida Murwira
ZESA Holdings is losing about US$642 million per year due to a poor billing
system and load-shedding as experts call for an immediate end to the power
utility's monopoly if electricity supply is to improve.
Former Zesa acting chief executive officer Engineer Francis Masawi yesterday
said the power utility was losing almost US$500 million because of
load-shedding and at least US$100 million owing to its billing system.
He said Zesa's billing system was in shambles.
Eng Masawi - who is now a consultant - said this during a public hearing
conducted by the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on State Enterprises and
Parastatal management that convened a meeting of stakeholders to get views
on the performance of Zesa Holdings.
The former Zesa boss, who was giving expert analysis to the committee on
behalf of the Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce, said there was need to
implement provisions of the Electricity Act that allowed more players in the
He said Zesa generated 7,267 GiGawatts hours in 2010, which cost US$552
million but it collected US$469 million, making a loss of US$83 million
owing to billing challenges.
Energy demand for the year stood at 13,221 GW, but the power utility had
generated 8,482 GW, leaving energy not served and load-shedded at 5,854 GW.
This resulted in the power company making a loss due to load-shedding at
The figure translates to a cumulative US$642 million loss.
"These are huge losses, which any normal business would seriously agonise
over," said Eng Masawi who is director of Energy and Information Logistics
Group, a consultancy firm.
He said the existing transmission grid was a natural monopoly so the
Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company could remain
New power companies will still have to use the national grid in transmitting
their electricity to their customers, with Zesa charging them a small
A US$600 million ethanol plant in Chisumbanje, a joint project between the
Government through the Agriculture Rural Development Authority and Green
Fuel Private Limited, will contribute 18,5 Megawatts.
Zesa Holdings and Green Fuel Private Limited have already signed an
agreement to be implemented this month that will seed the bio fuel company
supplying feeding 18,5 Mega-watts into the national grid.
"Bulk energy trading should be taken over by the private sector, retail
supply business must be run by the private sector company so as to make the
sector bankable," he said.
Eng Masawi called for a national vision guiding both the public and private
sector coupled with policy consistence focusing on wealth creation and not
Government broke monopoly in the telecommunications sector, a situation that
has translated into immeasurable benefits to ordinary people as more players
Other stakeholders slammed Zesa Holdings for high tariffs, excessive load
shedding, corruption by some its employees, failure to conduct proper meter
reading, huge salary structures for senior managers among other shortcomings
resulting in poor performance.
During the hearing chaired by Zvishavane - Runde MP, Cde Larry Mavhima
(Zanu-PF) - councils requested for concessionary tariffs saying they were
running "a special industry" of water pumping and se-wage reticulation.
During the meeting, local autho-rity representatives requested that they get
concessionary electricity tariffs from the power utility for the-ir water
pumping and sewer reticulation work.
Town Clerks' forum vice chairperson, Mr Winslow Muyambi, ar-gued that they
administered a special industry - that of water pumping and sewer
reticulation that they provided as a social obligation.
"Water and sewer needs a special tariff because these are non-profit making
"As local authorities we run these special industries 24 hours a day and our
plea is that we have concessionary tariffs," said Mr Muyambi who is also
Norton chief executive officer.
Several stakeholders who included the Harare Residents Trust, Consumer
Council of Zimbabwe and the Commercial Farmers' Union took turns to berate
Zesa Holdings for untenable tariffs that they said were not consistent with
what people were earning.
They accused some Zesa Holdings employees of corruption saying consumers
were asked to pay bribes in return for an illegal reconnection if power had
been disconnected for non-payment.
CFU representative, Mr Mark Wil-son, complained that load-shedding by Zesa
was seriously affecting win-ter wheat production.
"Any power cut or interruption will jeopardise yields. We are not afraid to
pay what we have consumed but we are afraid to subside inefficiencies," he
Other ordinary residents complained that they could not afford electricity
bills owing to the low salaries most people were getting.
Write off ZESA bills based on estimates: Residents
Residents here have implored the State Enterprises and Parastatals
parliamentary portfolio committee to order the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply
Authority to write off bills based on estimates - saying they are unfair.
15.06.1111:06am 0 0
Speaking at a meeting held by the committee to collect views of ZESA clients
on the operations of the parastatal, angry residents said they had been
receiving “out-of-this-world bills from ZESA” based only on estimations, and
not accurate readings.
“For the past four months I have been away - but what is shocking is that my
bills show figures that are more than those I would have when living at
home. To me it sounds very unjustified to have a bill marked as an estimate
with astronomical figures,” said Charles Mabasa from Gweru’s plush suburb of
Other residents said it was high time ZESA doubled efforts to allow the use
of pre-paid meters. The meters allow consumers to make prior payments for
exact units of power they intend to use for a particular period and top up
on a needs basis.
“Pre-paid meters are important to us because they give a fair charge per
particular amounts of electricity. ZESA should simply introduce them and
stop this unfairness on estimated bills,” another resident said.
Larry Mavhima, the chairperson of the committee, promised that all concerns
would be forwarded to other stakeholders and debated in parliament for
“Feedback on progress on that matter will be brought to the people by their
MPs,” said Mavhima, who is also the legislator for Zvishavane- Runde.
ZESA spokesperson Fullard Gwasira has said while everything was being done
to introduce pre-paid meters, the power parastatal at the moment is not able
to ensure that it collects actual meter readings in all households across
the country due to lack of manpower.
He said the matter was being looked into, and urged consumers to use
electricity sparingly and pay their bills to ensure that ZESA was enabled to
ensure adequate supplies.
ZESA plans expansion
http://www.financialgazette.co.zw In a statement addressing a number of customer concerns, ZESA said its unit, "That, coupled with new and further long-term expansion projects of Kariba 7 The power utility said such a boost in local electricity generation would ZESA indicated in the statement that electricity shortages would however "If Hwange was to operate at maximum 920 MW and Kariba at 740MW, there would This was after a plan for the transfer of the small power plants around the Under the plan unveiled in August last year, ZESA had invited interested The Bulawayo plant has an installed capacity of 90MW and a dependable The power utility had indicated that it would mobilise resources for the "The average tariff for this power shall be 13 US cents per kwh. Power
Friday, 03 June 2011 11:18
Dumisani Ndlela, Deputy Editor-in-Chief
The Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with South Africa's Hatch Africa Energy for consultancy services for the expansion of the Kariba and Hwange power plants.
The move is expected to boost electricity generation and supply to the
the Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) had signed the MOU with Hatch who would, through their Zimbabwean representative firm, Zimbabwe Africa infrastructure Development Group, carry out an expansion roadmap of the two power stations in three phases beginning later this year.
& 8 and Hwange 7 & 8, Batoka project, among others (will result in) an
improvement in the capacity of the national grid resulting in the reduction
of electricity imports as Zimbabwe would almost be self- sufficient in terms
of availability from local sources," said ZESA.
also result in a reduction in load shedding as there would be a narrow gap
between supply and demand for electricity.
persist, insisting that only fresh investments in new power plants by
independent producers or itself would ameliorate the situation.
still be load shedding as demand peaks at 2200MW," said ZESA.
Current generation capacity at Hwange Thermal Power Station is at 400MW from
four units. Kariba has six functional units with a current generation
capacity of 740MW.
The ZPC has resuscitated all small thermal power stations in an attempt to
boost electricity generation.
country to private operators failed to generate interest from domestic power
major power consumers to take up three of its small thermal power stations
in Bulawayo, Munyati and Harare for own consumption and disposal of surplus
generation to its national grid at agreed tariffs.
capacity of 85 MW, while the Harare plant has a capacity of 100 MW and a
dependable capacity of 45 MW. The Munyati plant has an installed
capacity of 120 MW and a dependable capacity of 80 MW. The three old
thermal power plants were to be "refurbished to give a relief to those
institutions that can absorb power at an average tariff of 13 US cents per
kwh of this ring fenced and uninterrupted power supply", ZESA had indicated
in its invitation for bids.
refurbishment of the thermal power plants and start up costs, but successful
bidders would be required to enter into a power purchase agreement (PPA)
with a ZESA subsidiary, the Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and
Distribution Company (ZETDC) for the purchase of power from the power
supply delivery point shall be the ZETDC meter terminals," ZESA said.
The latest ZESA statement did not reveal how much the resuscitated small
thermal power plants were contributing towards the national grid.
In a statement addressing a number of customer concerns, ZESA said its unit,
"That, coupled with new and further long-term expansion projects of Kariba 7
The power utility said such a boost in local electricity generation would
ZESA indicated in the statement that electricity shortages would however
"If Hwange was to operate at maximum 920 MW and Kariba at 740MW, there would
This was after a plan for the transfer of the small power plants around the
Under the plan unveiled in August last year, ZESA had invited interested
The Bulawayo plant has an installed capacity of 90MW and a dependable
The power utility had indicated that it would mobilise resources for the
"The average tariff for this power shall be 13 US cents per kwh. Power
Zesa in power purchase agreement
http://www.theindependent.co.zw/ The agreement represents the first major private sector power injection into Green Fuel General manager Graeme Smith revealed that the power feed is The bagasse from cane at Chisumbanje will be fed into the boiler to burn and “We are hoping to start the power feed this July with an output of 18,5 “Further to this, our associate company, Boabab Energy, is set to put up For the past 18 months, 800 Green Fuel technicians have been working around There are three phases to the current Ethanol plant The backbone of the whole project lies in vast swathes of cane grown on Sugar cane ethanol is a success story in many countries worldwide — from the US and Brazil to Europe, China and the Far East — and is considered to be the fuel of the future. Worldwide ethanol production in 2009 reached over The production and use of ethanol benefits the economy on many levels from
Thursday, 02 June 2011 19:30
ETHANOL fuel company, Green Fuel, is on the verge of concluding a power
purchase agreement with Zesa which will see 18,5 megawatts of electricity,
enough to power the entire Manicaland province, being fed into the national
grid from the company’s ethanol plant in Chisumbanje.
the national grid. Green Fuel is the first large-scale ethanol producing
factory in Africa and the plant itself is new technology within Zimbabwe.
The electricity generation is a by-product of Green Fuel’s core business,
which is the production of ethanol fuel from sugar cane. The Chisumbanje
plant puts Zimbabwe at the forefront of renewable fuel on the African
pencilled for commencement this winter, with an initial offload of 18,5
megawatts from the first ethanol plant at Chisumbanje, to be commissioned
soon. The electricity will be generated from bagasse, a by-product of
ethanol production, in a way similar to how coal-fired electricity is
generated. Bagasse is the fibre left over after the juice has been squeezed
out of sugarcane stalks.
generate electricity in sufficient quantities to power Green Fuel’s ethanol
plant with the excess then being fed into the Zesa power distribution
megawatts after the commissioning of our ethanol plant. We are also
concluding power purchase arrangements with Zesa for three of these bagasse
fuelled power plants in the next phase of our ethanol project –– two at
Chisumbanje and one at Middle Sabi –– bigger in capacity, each with an
output of 35 megawatts, to put our total power offload into Zesa at 120
megawatts,” Smith said.
between five and 10 of these power stations –– to be coal fired. We have
built one power station already at Chisumbanje, and managed to build the
components locally –– we are therefore confident of a successful rollout
programme for these coal-fuelled power stations throughout other parts of
the country where we have coal deposits,” Smith added.
the clock in the construction phase of the plant to ensure that it will be
operating by this winter, ready to start processing over 5 000 hectares of
sugarcane into high quality anhydrous ethanol.
and three phases to the overall project development, being the construction
of three Ethanol Plants. The current phase of the first plant will require 11 500ha and will produce 350 000 litres a day of ethanol for 300 days, which equates to just over a 100 million litres annually. Phase two will progress to 150 million litres a year and 250 million litres in phase three.
Chisumbanje and Middle Sabi estates, ahead of the plant commissioning this
year. A total 5 000ha of sugar cane have been planted to date at Chisumbanje and Middle Sabi.
75 billion litres, representing a 64% increase in two years.
job creation and employment in agriculture and technology, to the
availability of clean, renewable, affordable fuel at the pump.
The agreement represents the first major private sector power injection into
Green Fuel General manager Graeme Smith revealed that the power feed is
The bagasse from cane at Chisumbanje will be fed into the boiler to burn and
“We are hoping to start the power feed this July with an output of 18,5
“Further to this, our associate company, Boabab Energy, is set to put up
For the past 18 months, 800 Green Fuel technicians have been working around
There are three phases to the current Ethanol plant
The backbone of the whole project lies in vast swathes of cane grown on
Sugar cane ethanol is a success story in many countries worldwide — from the US and Brazil to Europe, China and the Far East — and is considered to be the fuel of the future. Worldwide ethanol production in 2009 reached over
The production and use of ethanol benefits the economy on many levels from
Load shedding due to lack of funds -Zesa
May 29, 2011 2:46 PM | By VLADIMIR MZACA
Longer power cuts have become the order of the day in winter at a time when
the national power utility Zesa is importing less electricity from the
Democratic Republic of Congo.
With the encroaching winter the demand for electricity will go up on the
home, farming and industrial front.
But Zesa has increased its load shedding too, because it is failing to
import adequate power.
"We are unfortunately importing less electricity at a time when the demand
is high. This is because we do not have enough money," said Zesa's public
relations manager Fulhard Gwasira.
The power utility is owed more than US$450-million in unpaid bills, and its
power stations are not operating at full capacity.
"There is no alternative for load shedding at this point. We are not
generating enough electricity. Zimbabwe needs 2 200 megawatts a day and
right now we are generating 1 300 megawatts. If people pay their bills we
might be able to import more electricity," Gwasira said.
Wheat farmers are also expecting a constant supply of electricity, and
without it the winter crop is doomed.
Farmers raised concerns that if they failed to get a constant supply of
power they would abandon their projects.
In a bid to avert such a scenario Zesa has come up with a timetable for
"We have allocated 162 megawatts three days per week for the farmers. We
have grouped them according to their geographical clusters in the interest
of food security and the economy. It is not enough but it will at least get
us somewhere," Gwasira said.
Investing in a generator for city dwellers and businesses has become a must.
In urban areas, such as the two big cities Harare and Bulawayo, power cuts
are even done during the day, making it difficult for small businesses.
Restaurants, cafes, computer shops and just about anyone who needs
electricity to conduct business are now buying generators as power backup in
case of blackouts.
"Without a generator what I store in my refrigerator would go bad and that
would affect my business," said Dumisani Kodzayi, who runs a chain of
restaurants in Bulawayo.
At times the big cities are plunged into darkness at night and night clubs
have also invested in generators to stay in business.
ZESA promised $65 million from govt
Written by Paul Ndlovu
Wednesday, 11 May 2011 08:04
HARARE – The government has released $5 million for the rehabilitation of
old thermal power stations by the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority
(ZESA), an official said.
ZESA Holdings chief executive officer, engineer Josh Chifamba said the
power-utility was allocated $65 million for rehabilitating old thermal power
stations and another $5 million for electricity generation and distribution.
“We were allocated $65 million by government for the refurbishment of old
thermal power stations, of which $5 million has been released and put into
the rehabilitation of Hwange Power Station and the old power stations. We
were also allocated $5 million for power distribution and generation,”
He added that ZESA had no capacity to meet the internal power demand. “We
are investing mainly in the rehabilitation of
Hwange Power Station which has the capacity to produce 920 megawatts and in
the process of reinstating a lot of old thermal power stations,” he said.
He said the power utility would soon embark on extensive programme of
supplying its customers with energy saver light bulbs. This would see ZESA
rolling out 6,3 million compact florescent bulbs expected to save over 200
megawatts. Plans are already underway to ensure that hydro electricity at
Kariba South to produces 300 megawatts while long-term plans are to exploit
coal bed methane in Batoka for power generation.
Free ZESA bulbs could be deadly
Sunday, 08 May 2011 12:10
BY NQABA MATSHAZI
ENERGY saving bulbs, which power utility Zesa wants to distribute, could
cause cancer, a study revealed.
Zesa claims that it wants to distribute six million bulbs in the next three
months, but studies have revealed that the bulbs contain mercury, which
could cause breast cancer and migraine headaches among a number of ills.
A study carried out in Germany warns that the energy saving bulbs should not
be left on for extended periods, as they emit poisonous materials when
“For such carcinogenic substances it is important they are kept as far away
as possible from the human environment,” Peter Braun, who carried out the
tests revealed to The Telegraph.
The bulbs reportedly emit a number of carbolic acids, which the researcher
claims could directly lead to cancer.
Another researcher claims that electric smog develops around the bulbs and
this could be detrimental to health and the environment in the long run.
The researcher said she only used the bulbs economically, saying she always
left her windows open when the energy saving bulbs were on.
The latest report follows claims by Abraham Haim, a professor of biology at
Haifa University in Israel, that the bulbs could result in higher breast
cancer rates if used late at night.
He said that the bluer light that bulbs emitted closely mimicked daylight,
disrupting the body’s production of the hormone melatonin more than
older-style filament bulbs, which cast a yellower light.
The Migraine Action Association has warned that they could trigger migraines
and skin care specialists have claimed that their intense light could
exacerbate a range of existing skin problems, The Telegraph said.
Zimbabwe faces biting power shortages and Zesa claims it will be able to
save power by introducing these energy savers.
Zesa spokesman, Fullard Gwasira conceded that the bulbs carry mercury, which
is detrimental to health, but said the contents were too small to cause a
“For there to be a health problem you need at least 50 bulbs and they are
only a problem when they are broken,” he said.
Gwasira said the power utility will engage local authorities on disposal of
the bulbs, so they would not cause environmental harm when disposed off.
He accepted international research into the issue, but said Zesa had also
done its own research and were following in the footsteps of Namibia, Angola
and Europe in rolling out the energy savers.
ZESA fails to import power
By Oscar Nkala
Friday, 06 May 2011 11:49
BULAWAYO - Zimbabwean businesses will continue to suffer from power
shortages in the short–term as the country is unable to import power from
the region as the entire southern Africa faces severe shortages, a top
Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (Zesa) official has said.
John Chifamba, the newly appointed Zesa chief executive, told a Zimbabwe
International Trade Fair (ZITF) business conference this week that internal
power generating capacity also remained hamstrung by lack of funds to revive
and maintain existing plants as well as equipment, since Zimbabwe began
experiencing a steady decline in 1992.
“Our own local power supply and generation capacity has actually slumped
over the years. This is a sign that there has not been much investment
taking place in terms of building new power generation capacity. We have
actually lost capacity because we do not have enough funds to maintain the
existing generation plants and equipment,” he said.
Industry executives had earlier attacked Zesa for sabotaging the stuttering
economic revival programme by failing to supply enough power, despite a new
regime of power tariffs.
Sectors that have been mainly affected, include agricultural, manufacturing,
mining and other sub – economic sectors.
Chifamba said local power demand is suppressed at the moment because Zesa
does not have the supply to meet it.
He said while the power utility was able to cover up the supply gap by
importing from its neighbours in the past that was no longer possible as all
countries in the region face power shortages.
“We used to import our way out of the problems by sourcing power from our
neighbours, but that is no longer possible. There is not a single country
with enough power in the region except perhaps, Mozambique, which still has
power supplies contracted to South Africa. We do get opportunistic purchases
now and again but the power is supplied on a non-firm basis, which means
there is no guarantee. We get it as and when it is available and that is not
good for industry,” the Zesa boss said.
He said the power supply fluctuation also gives an idea of how much the
economy has shrunk, drawing a comparison between 1997 when Zesa sold 11
billion units of power to industry and 2011 when it is selling only 8,5
“This give you an idea of how much the economy has shrunk. After
dollarisation, our figures show that the manufacturing sector has shrunk
while there has been activity in the commercial sector. That is because the
supply situation remains our major constraint,” said Chifamba.
He said Zesa, which has not commissioned any new power stations since Hwange
in 1998, was working on plans to boost production at Hwange and Kariba power
station, while reviving Bulawayo, Munyati and Harare thermal power stations
to augment supplies.
He added that they are also coming up with various demand-side management
project, which would see the nationwide replacement of incandescent light
bulbs with flourescent lights which save power.
He said 6 million bulbs will be given out freely to consumers, starting in
the main cities of Harare and Bulawayo.
ZESA lose $5 million to vandals
Written by Lovejoy Sakala
Wednesday, 04 May 2011 06:44
HARARE – The Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company
(ZETDC) says it has lost equipment worth about $5 million between January
2010 and February 2011.
Zesa spokeperson, Sherperd Mandizvidza said vandalism has impacted heavily
of the power utility to expand its network.
He said ZETDC lost copper conductors worth $3, 9 million, while the theft of
transformer oil and general damage to transformers was in the magnitude of
Mandizvidza added that vandalism of electricity pylons cost the company $400
“We cannot expand the network because we are concentrating on replacements.
This has slowed down our efforts to put new connections on the national
grid. Consumers are also being affected as some power cuts are a result of
vandalism,” he said.
Zesa transmission equipment is targeted by criminals because it fetches high
prices in neighbouring countries such as South Africa, Mozambique and
Load shedding to increase, due to maintenance at Kariba: Zesa
by Moyo Roy
2011 May 01 10:34:52
THE country should brace for increased load shedding between now and next
week as Zesa Holdings embarks on annual maintenance of generator
transformers at the Kariba Power Station.
The maintenance, which is done annually at the onset of the winter season,
started on Wednesday and is expected to be complete by May 8.
Zesa spokesperson, Mr Fullard Gwasira, yesterday said during the maintenance
period, an estimated 250 megawatts would be lost. However, efforts are being
made to cover the deficit with imports.
The country produces about 1200 MW a day from the four power stations;
Hwange, Munyati, Kariba and Harare. On average, Zimbabwe needs about 2200 MW
a day. Kariba has six generators.
Mr Gwasira said although they have made alternative arrangements with other
regional power utilities to assist with supplies during the maintenance
works, supplies might still not be enough during peak hours - hence the
increased load shedding.
Zesa is importing power from Mozambique with whom it has an agreement for 50
MW (guaranteed) and 150 MW (non-guaranteed), which depends on whether the
neighbour has excess power.
"Customers might see a slight increase in load shedding but the good thing
about it is that upon completion of the servicing, the generator
transformers will be more efficient to deal with high demand that is usually
associated with winter," Mr Gwasira said.
"In fact after the servicing, we expect to generate more electricity by
about 15 more megawatts," he said.
Mr Gwasira urged customers to use the available electricity sparingly to
alleviate the extent and duration of load shedding.
He lamented the failure by people to pay bills on time saying it continued
to impact negatively on the amount of electricity generated. Currently, Mr
Gwasira said Zesa was owed about US$450 million in electricity bills.
"If all these people pay up, we will be able to generate enough and import
more electricity for everyone without any load shedding. We will also be
able to pay our suppliers on time," he said.
ZESA presses on with tariff hike
http://www.financialgazette.co.zw/ Through its transmission and distribution unit, ZESA had proposed to hike The utility runs a special tariff of US$0,05.25 per kilowatt-hour for In terms of the law, electricity tariff hikes should be a result of an In a recent presentation to ratepayers and investors, the Zimbabwe “ZETDC is not a charity,” an official with the utility said. “We’re in business and we need to have a return on our assets. We’re pushing They further disclosed that the proposed tariff of US$0,10 per kilowatt-hour They explained that average cost of generation was about US$0,04.92 per ZESA also imports an additional 36 percent of its total supply at a cost of Aggregating the generation costs for all the four composite sources of power “We’ve also resuscitated our small thermals and they’re on the expensive However, power from these plants is still without takers because of cost ZESA had tabled an independent power purchase deal for its bulk power users
Thursday, 21 April 2011 12:18
Munyaradzi Mugowo, Business Editor
POWER generation and supply utility ZESA Holdings is pressing ahead with a
review of the current tariff structure, officials sources said, indicating
that tariffs could go up before the second half of the year. The State-run
power utility has not increased the price of electricity since February 2009
when the economy dollarised.
tariffs to US$0,10 per kilowatt-hour this year from US$0,07.53 per unit, but
faced resistance from consumers, industry and government, who dreaded the
cost implications of the decision on households and industry.
business entities that consume at least 11 kilovolts.
inclusive process involving broad-based stakeholder consultations. Eighty
percent of ZESA’s electricity is used to power households.
Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company (ZETDC), a subsidiary of
ZESA, said the present tariff structure was both sub-optimal and repulsive
to potential partners and independent power producers.
for a rate of return of 8,51 percent on our assets.” The sources said the
tariff build-up should take into account costs and return on assets.
was still concessional, marginally below both ZETDC’s break-even tariff rate
of US$0,11 per kilowatt-hour and the regional median of US$0,12.2 per
kilowatt-hour – US$0,02.39 for Kariba, which accounts for about 50 percent
of local power supply; US$0.06.04 for Hwange, which accounts for around 27
percent and US$0,14.14 for three small thermals that contribute only seven
percent of the load.
US$0,05.2 per kilowatt-hour.
and adding a margin of US$0,02.33 would yield an average tariff rate of
US$0,10.07 per kilowatt-hour, just what ZESA is pressing for.
side,” an official said.
through a publicly-circulated invitation of expression of interest, under
which it sought to resuscitate the three coal-fired plants and dedicate
their output to interested users.
Through its transmission and distribution unit, ZESA had proposed to hike
The utility runs a special tariff of US$0,05.25 per kilowatt-hour for
In terms of the law, electricity tariff hikes should be a result of an
In a recent presentation to ratepayers and investors, the Zimbabwe
“ZETDC is not a charity,” an official with the utility said.
“We’re in business and we need to have a return on our assets. We’re pushing
They further disclosed that the proposed tariff of US$0,10 per kilowatt-hour
They explained that average cost of generation was about US$0,04.92 per
ZESA also imports an additional 36 percent of its total supply at a cost of
Aggregating the generation costs for all the four composite sources of power
“We’ve also resuscitated our small thermals and they’re on the expensive
However, power from these plants is still without takers because of cost
ZESA had tabled an independent power purchase deal for its bulk power users
Zesa wants country to use energy-saving bulbs
Apr 16, 2011 1:16 PM | By VLADIMIR MZACA
Zimbabwe has a shortfall of 400 megawatts (MW) of electricity of the 2000MW
required daily and the country's power utility intends to cover that through
the introduction of energy-saving legislation.
The country currently produces only 1300MW and imports 300MW, leaving a
shortfall of 400MW.
The Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (Zesa) has urged policymakers to
introduce a bill that will force electricity users to opt for energy-saving
lights and do away with incandescent light bulbs.
"The best way to go around the energy issue is to lobby for the banning of
incandescent light bulbs. We have in the past pushed for parliament to look
at the issue," said Fullard Gwasira, the spokesman for Zesa.
If the authority has its wish granted it would like to see legislation that
puts incandescent bulbs on a high import tariff.
If this happens, they would become a luxury and fewer people would prefer
them and switch to energy-savers, most of which are produced locally.
"Energy-savers use less power and are more durable compared to incandescent
light bulbs," said Gwasira.
Incandescent light bulbs have been banned in other parts of the world.
In 2009 a Europe-wide campaign to ban incandescent bulbs began.
The only complaint has been that energy-saving bulbs are not as bright as
the incandescent ones.
"The whole world wants to save energy and banning these bulbs is one of the
ways," Gwasira said.
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