Commercial Farmers Union of Zimbabwe

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Parly stops shady power plant deal

Parly stops shady power plant deal
Daniel Shumba

Daniel Shumba

Lloyd Gumbo Senior Reporter
Parliament has stopped the implementation of the 120 megawatt emergency Mutare Power Peaking Plant after it emerged that the State Procurement Board awarded the tender to a company that had failed to meet technical specifications stated by the Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC).

The SPB unilaterally awarded the tender to technically non-compliant Helcraw Electrical (Pvt) Ltd because it charged $92 million against a recommendation by ZPC to award the tender to technically- compliant Pito Investments that had charged $120 million for the emergency diesel power plant.

Pito Investments is owned by Mr Alexio Chideme, while Mr Farai Jere is the proprietor of Helcraw Electrical.

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The technical requirements were that the winning bidder must build at least three units with at least 30MW to 40MW per unit to ensure that when one of the units is down, the power plant would remain with 80MW running.

ZPC management and Pito Investments representatives told the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Mines and Energy yesterday that the SPB proceeded to award the tender to Helcraw Electrical, whose bid had two units of 58MW each, contrary to a ZPC recommendation of Pito Investments that met the technical requirements of at least three units of between 30 and 40MW.

But the committee chaired by Zanu-PF MP for Masvingo Urban, Cde Daniel Shumba, took the ZPC to task on why it did not disqualify Helcrow Electrical after realising that they did not meet the technical specifications.

ZPC operations director, Engineer Joshua Chirikutsi, who represented managing director Mr Noah Gwariro, told the committee: “ZPC adjudication recommended the award of the tender to Pito Investments at $120 million, which was then reviewed by State Procurement Board who awarded the tender to Helcraw at a price of $92 million.

“Due diligence was then carried out by ZPC on Helcrow and its technical partners. After the due diligence we then sought a waiver from our ministry through Zesa Holdings and we got a response to proceed to the contract signing as awarded by State Procurement Board. The contract was duly signed on the 31st of December 2015.”

ZPC project manager, Mr Peter Mapfumo, also admitted to the committee that Helcrow Electrical did not meet the technical specifications hence their decision to award the tender to Pito Investments.

He said after making their recommendation to SPB, they then got an SPB resolution “telling us to go Helcraw way”.

However, legislators queried how Helcraw Electrical’s name made it to the SPB when they should have been disqualified by virtue of failing to meet the technical requirements.

Cde Shumba demanded to know how ZPC forwarded Helcrow Electrical’s name to the SPB when they failed to meet the technical requirements.

“From your evaluation here, the reason you scored Helcraw less than Pito was purely on technical,” he said.

“It’s here and even the tender board confirms it. You only scored Helcrow higher on price because their price was $92 million yet they were not bidding for the same thing.

“In terms of process, once you got the commercial envelop, you should have set aside the non-compliant bids so that you invest in the adjudication of compliant bids. Be that as it may, you proceeded to evaluate all the bids and sent to the tender board the non-compliant bid and then the tender board reversed your recommendation and went for the non-compliant. But you opened that window by evaluating further a non-compliant bid.”

Cde Shumba said Helcraw Electrical documents that the ZPC presented to the committee indicated they proposed to build two units of 58MW each making it impossible for the plant to have 80MW running in the event of one plant failing.

“What was your motivation in including something that violated your own technical specifications, your RFP specifications and your board approval? Why did you proceed to waste company resources?

“You must remember that you travelled all the way to India to look at these non-compliant technical units and still proceeded to sign a contract for things you knew were not consistent with your technical specifications.

“Your technical visit to India to look at the wrong items, you used State money, State resources and came back and still concluded a contract that is in violation of specifications, technical recommendations and board approval,” said Cde Shumba.

Zanu-PF MP for Mashonaland West, Cde Jennifer Mhlanga, also demanded to know why the ZPC proceeded to evaluate Helcraw Electrical’s bid when they had failed to comply at the technical level.

“Why did they proceed to include Helcrow when in the first instance it did not meet the specifications? If they had thrown Helcraw bid away because it didn’t meet the specifications, we wouldn’t be discussing about this,” she said.

Added MDC-T MP for Bulawayo East, Ms Tabitha Khumalo: “What then made you come up with a decision that Helcrow qualifies after realising that the financial envelop is proving otherwise? Technically already they have failed and should be disqualified. Then why did you score them in the first place after realising that the funding was wrong?”

Manicaland MP, Ms Fanny Chirisa and Musikavanhu MP Mr Prosper Mutseyami (MDC-T), said ZPC was complicit in the irregularity by forwarding Helcrow Electrical’s bid to SPB.

But ZPC supply chain manager, Mr Alfred Maunganidze, said the ZPC told the SPB the reasons why they did not recommend Helcraw Electrical.

“In our response we told them that Helcraw’s total capacity of the generators offered were less than the requirement of 120MW.

“In the commercial envelop, Helcraw clearly indicated that they will provide two units against a requirement of tender document of at least three modular units. Helcraw technical proposal also clearly states that the units will be AE63.4A ,which would provide the gross output of 58MW each unit as indicated in the document that we gave them,” said Mr Maunganidze.

However, Cde Shumba concluded: “For the purposes of noting, we don’t want to close the stables when the horses have already bolted. You are aware now that this issue is before this committee up to the end when we have concluded this process.

“We do not expect that you shall be in violation of Parliament procedures or in contempt of Parliament by proceeding and further complicating this bid which we are sure you are going to hold at the stage that it is at both financially, technically and legally until such time that you implement our final report. You aware that Parliament is one of the three pillars of the State and we are seized with this matter. We don’t expect you to circumvent us it has got consequences to you and your corporate.”

‘No power tariff hike’

‘No power tariff hike’

Business Reporter—
THE Ministry of Energy and Power Development has refuted reports over alleged approval of an electricity tariff hike by the power utility, Zesa. In a statement yesterday, the ministry said a report last week, which indicated that the ministry had given the nod to a tariff increase, did not reflect the correct government position.

“The correct position of the Ministry of Energy and Power Development is that no tariff increase has been approved by the government,” said the ministry. It said the correct position was that Zesa applied to the regulator, the Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority (Zera) for a tariff review in November 2015.

The regulator reviewed the application in December 2015 and later conducted consultative meetings with interested parties between January and February this year as per requirement of the Electricity Act. A majority of consumers — industry, farmers and domestic — condemned the proposed tariff hike saying this was going to increase the burden on them.

The ministry said Zera was “still consolidating” stakeholder inputs before finalising the tariff approval. It said: “It should be noted that the regulator Zera is the only institute mandated to announce any tariff adjustments. The regulator has not done so, and therefore, there is no change on the current tariff”.

The government has since advised those concerned to contact Zera for clarification. Zimbabwe faces an acute power supply gap given suppressed domestic generation at less than 1,000MW compared to above 2,000MW average demand.

The existing coal powered plants in Hwange, Bulawayo, Munyati and Harare are producing below capacity because of obsolete equipment, which is prone to incessant breakdowns.

The country’s largest hydro-power plant in Kariba is also producing far below its 750MW installed capacity due to low water levels as a result of El-Niño induced drought.

This has forced the country to import power from regional producers such as South Africa, Mozambique and the DRC. Meanwhile, the Zimbabwe Power Company has said it was going ahead with its proposed establishment of a 100MW photovoltaic solar power station and a 15-17km of 132kV grid transmission in Gwanda.

The solar power station is aimed at increasing Zimbabwe’s power generation capacity. “The proposed power station site is prescribed for Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) in terms of the Environmental Management Act and ZPC is undertaking the EIA process to satisfy the legal requirements and also achieve best practice,” said ZPC.

As part of the consultative process ZPC, through its consultant, Ascon Africa, is in the process of consulting all key stakeholders of the project. ZPC warned that the establishment of the power project will have an impact of visual intrusion, noise, disruption of ecology and interaction between site vehicles and public traffic.

Zesa tariff hike gets nod

Zesa tariff hike gets nod

Business Reporter
The cost of electricity is set increase after the Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority approved an average tariff of 11,2c/kWh from 9,83c, sources said yesterday.

Power utility, Zesa Holdings had applied for a tariff increase of 14,6c/kWh to help finance imports to mitigate power shortages and expanding generation capacity.

In order to ease load-shedding, imports of electrical energy were at $47,63 million as suppliers from Mozambique and South Africa were operating on a cash basis model.

However, the situation is unsustainable going forward as the import tariffs are higher than what is currently obtaining especially when the power utility is saddled with a +$1 billion debt.

“After a careful study of the proposal from Zesa, an average tariff increase of 11,2c/kWh has been granted,” said an official in the Ministry and Energy and Power Development.

“Several issues were looked into including economic hardships facing the economy and ability of customers to pay. Remember, Zesa is owed about $1 billion by domestic and commercial customers and granting the proposed tariff would have worsened the consumers’ situation.”

No comment could be obtained from Zesa by the time of going to print yesterday. The average power tariff of 11,2c per kWh is, however, lower than the price at which Zesa is paying for imports from South Africa and Mozambique.


Zimbabwe is importing power mainly from Mozambique, where it is seeking more, and South Africa and this has seen a drastic reduction in power rationing.

Prior to Zesa’s power importation programme, Zimbabweans had been enduring long periods of power cuts, which severely affected businesses, including mines.

Zesa is also still negotiating with Mozambique’s EDM to import an additional 40 megawatts with the power utility seeking to secure a tariff that is less onerous to users.

Secretary for Energy and Power Development Partison Mbiriri recently said the power utility will be guided by what obtains in the region in terms of the tariff rate it seeks to agree with EDM.

This comes as it emerged EDM had bargained for a tariff of about 15c/kWh, but Mr Mbiriri said rates between 13c/kWh and 15c/kWh would be on the high side.

Zesa has previously indicated that it is seeking an economic tariff to be able to maintain consistent and sufficient supply of power, including augmenting with imports.

The power utility might have to depend significantly on imports until a series of Government and private sector projects are completed, at least in the next three years.

Eng Magombo said recently that the target is to try and approve a power tariff rate that is economic for the producer and also affordable to the consumers.

The power utility is currently working on supply side interventions that entail expanding capacity at Kariba South hydro power station by 300MW and Hwange by 600MW.

Zesa renovates power evacuation system

Zesa renovates power evacuation system
Zesa power lines

Zesa power lines

Martin Kadzere and Tinashe Makichi

POWER utility, Zesa Holdings has refurbished part of its power evacuation system at Kariba Power Station at a cost of about $14 million, spokesperson Fullard Gwasira has said. Power evacuation is a critical function that allows generated power to be immediately evacuated from the WPP to the grid for distribution. Zesa, through its power transmission subsidiary ZETDC contracted Helcraw, a local firm to undertake the project.“The Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company in partnership with Helcrow — the implementing contractor — embarked on a project to refurbish transformers at the Kariba Power Station complex during the period 2014-16 at a cost of $13,7 million.

“The project, funded by Afrochin, involved replacement of old cables and the associated equipment to increase off-take of electricity from the power station and to make the assets insurable as well as to eliminate the risk of fire to the assets.”

“We are happy the project has been successfully completed. This will result in greater efficiency, greater reliability and stability in the evacuation of power,” he added.

Kariba has six generators, two of which supply power to a single transformer. The other three generators have a voltage of 18 Kilovolt that is stepped up to 330Kv (grid voltage) as they feed power to the national grid. The 330Kv is then linked to the national grid through a set of cables of an inter-distance of 600 metres. The generator transformer belongs to Zimbabwe Power Company, the power generation subsidiary of Zesa and the cables belong to the transmission section of ZETDC.

Out of the three transformers, ZETDC has done work on one and commissioned the new set with the second transformer being expected to be completed by June.

The target completion date of the remaining transformer is October this year. The work encompass the replacement of the old technology called the Paper Insulated Filter cables that had been serving the system since 1960. The old technology is being replaced by the Cross-Linked Polyethylene technology that is real-time. Mr Gwasira said the renewed assets were expected to efficiently supply power for another 50 years.

He added that ZPC has upgraded generator transformers from 240 MVA to 315 MVA to increase capacity, with the upgraded and renewed cables being expected to improve the uptake of power from Kariba as the entire system has been given a fresh lease of life.

In an interview, Helcraw managing director Farai Jere said the successful completion of the project was a major milestone particularly for a local company.

“This was a very complicated project and everyone was looking at the company to see how Helcraw was going to execute that project” said Mr Jere.

“Even when the project was awarded to Helcraw it was hugely contested and it was said that as a local company it was not going to perform. It is a $14 million project; small but in terms of execution, it is one of the most complicated projects to undertake. This project has since been done.

“The complication of the project was that the tunnel was severely damaged and the shaft was also damaged by water coming from the dam.

“We had to repair that and then find ways to stop the water using latest technology when we were repairing the shaft and the tunnel. The other complication was to remove the existing cables because the cables that were there were installed about 50 years ago.”

He said his company had to partner a South Korean company, LS Cables, and a South African company which had previously done a similar project with Eskom, SA power utility.

The project was managed by a Norwegian company. Mr Gwasira said the power utility was still doing apex progammes to ensure reliability of power generation and distribution.

It is estimated that the country could be losing significant amount of power due to ageing infrastructure.

Zimbabwe saves 110MW from pre-paid electricity meters – Zesa

Zimbabwe saves 110MW from pre-paid electricity meters – Zesa


Farmers owe Zesa close to US$100 million. In total, the utility is owed over US$1 billion.

ZIMBABWE has managed to save 110MW of electricity, the size of a small power station and about a tenth of current output, since pre-paid meters were introduced in 2012, the country’s power utility has said.

The southern African country’s current output, including imports from regional electricity suppliers, was 1,190MW as of Tuesday, against peak demand of 2,200MW. The power deficit has affected industry and households, which often go for hours without electricity.

In a statement, Power utility Zesa’s distribution unit said paying upfront for electricity has seen consumers consciously scaling down on use, resulting in energy savings.

“Customer habits have changed as they now avoid wastage and use electricity efficiently,” Zesa said.

“Capacity in the range of 110MW was released as a result of deployment of prepaid meters.”

To date, Zesa has managed to install 563,000 pre-paid meters. An additional 120,000 meters for residential users are expected to be installed by the end of 2016, Zesa said. An additional 40,000 installations are targeted for the commercial, industrial and farming sectors.

Zesa has secured $130 million from the African Export Import Bank for the procurement of 130,000 prepaid meters.

The installation of pre-paid meters in the commercial, industrial and farming areas is expected to begin in the last quarter of 2016. There has been resistance to the installation of meters on farms, with farmers arguing that their seasonal income is better suited to the current post-paid system.

Farmers owe Zesa close to $100 million. In total, the utility is owed over $1 billion.

Apart from the savings from the pre-paid metering project, Zimbabwe has managed to stabilise its power supply situation through the imports of up to 400MW from regional suppliers such as South Africa’s Eskom, which has a discretionary agreement with Zesa for off-peak supplies. Zimbabwe also imports power from Mozambique. The Source

ZPC gears for winter demand

ZPC gears for winter demand

Golden Sibanda recently in Hwange
The Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) is targeting to ramp up power generation at its Hwange Thermal Power Station to 700 megawatts from 484MW in preparation for higher demand during the winter period.

Hwange Power Station general manager Engineer Joshua Chirikutsi said ZPC is engaging all its coal suppliers with a view to increase coal deliveries to enable it to build stock levels from just over 200 000 tonnes to about 300 000 tonnes.

The thermal power station requires a minimum of 115 000 tonnes from each of its two major suppliers, Hwange Colliery Company and Makomo Resources, for its normal consumption.

As such, it is engaging the coal miners to request them to seek ways to increase supply to 150 000 tonnes each per month in order for the power plant to build sufficient stock ahead of the beginning of winter in two months when demand is higher.

ZPC would also want each of the smaller suppliers such as Coal Zim and Coal Brick to double deliveries to the power station from about 10 000 tonnes per month to around 20 000 tonnes to help build the reserves.

Demand for power increases in winter due to more usage by farmers for the winter wheat farming, but also due to higher usage by domestic consumers who require energy for heating purposes.

Hwange thermal power station, with installed capacity of 920MW, can only produce to a maximum of 700MW as its capacity is now constrained by the advanced age of equipment at the station, which requires regular servicing as it has outlived its design lifespan.

This also comes against the backdrop of acute shortage of power with production currently averaging 1100MW against peak period demand for power of 2200MW. The deficit is bridged through imports from the regional utilities.


It is against this background that Zesa Holdings generation unit’s board of directors visited the power plant from Wednesday to Friday to familiarise with operations and challenges the station is facing in its effort to raise output ahead of steep demand for power during the winter period.

“We are here as the board to familiarise ourselves with the operations and challenges the station is facing especially as they seek to increase production ahead of the winter period,” said ZPC board chairman Engineer Stanley Kazhanje on Thursday last week.

Engineer Chirikutsi said the engagement of major coal suppliers comes as the suppliers are facing production challenges emanating from prevailing cashflow constraints.

He said working capital challenges had seen the major suppliers delivering only about 100 000 tonnes per month instead of the required 150 000 tonnes to build the stocks amounting to 300 000 tonnes ahead of the winter period stretching from June to July.

Along with plans to build stocks Mr Chirikutsi said the power station was also in the process of servicing its power generators with all six units to be refurbished before the beginning of the winter period. The servicing of the generators is key for the power plant to hit its generation target of 700MW.

He also pointed out that one of the major problems the power station is facing in its effort to ramp up power is limited cashflows.

Zimbabwe is facing serious shortage of power as it has not invested in new generation capacity after completing units 5 and 6 in the mid-1980s.

Government is working on a number of new power projects including extension of 750MW Kariba South by another 300MW and Hwange thermal station by 600MW.

This will bring the country to excess generation by 2018 in line with its medium economic policy, Zim-Asset, targets to be self- sufficient.

Construction of Dema power plant begins

Construction of Dema power plant begins

April 11, 2016 in NationalNews

CONSTRUCTION of the multi-million-dollar Dema Power Plant, about 40 kilometres outside Harare, has started with the project expected to be complete by year-end.


 The diesel-powered electricity-generating project, a public private partnership deal between government and energy company Sakunda Holdings was targeting to produce about 200 megawatts (MW), an amount that could go a long way to ease the country’s power problems.

According to a letter by Energy and Power Development ministry secretary Patson Mbiriri to Zesa chief executive officer Josh Chifamba, government was aware of the impending power shortage given problems at Kariba Power Station.

“The government of Zimbabwe has approved the acquisition of 200MW Emergency Diesel Power Station at Dema sub-station. The contract for the installation of the plant and supply of power has been awarded to Sakunda Holdings,” Mbiriri said in a December 24, 2015 letter.

“Government is cognisant of the urgent need to secure 200MW to cover the gap which is going to be created by the reduction of power generation at Kariba Power Station as of January 1, 2016. Nonetheless, the supply of power from the diesel plant should not cause negative impacts to the economy.”

Mbiriri added: “Considering the urgency of the matter government recommends that you should now engage Sakunda Holdings for contract negotiations.”

He indicated that the tariff structure would have to be “locked for 36 months”.

On the same day, Chifamba wrote to Sakunda inviting the company for negotiations then set for December 28.

Water shortages at Kariba Dam, a result of poor rains, have caused drastic reduction in power generation resulting in electricity rationing across the country that has affected industry and commerce as well as domestic consumers.

A visit to the construction site in Dema last week showed workers busy with civil works for the project that was set to gradually phase out from diesel to thermal gas and hydro-power with a target of over 800 megawatts in 10 years at a prime price of $0,10 per kilowatt hour. A site supervisor who declined to be named said: “We are preparing firm ground for the generators and five bladder tanks that will carry about 800 000 litres each at any given time for the production of about 230MW. We should be ready to bring in the generators in just under two months. This plant has zero percent transmission loss compared to the obtaining 15% transmission loss from other power stations,” the official said.

Briefing bankers and other stakeholders in Harare recently, Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa said the emergency diesel power plant would boost the country’s power production.



Kariba Dam water levels rise 8%

WATER levels at Kariba Dam have remained low, with a marginal increase of 8% since January, despite recent incessant rains that pounded most parts of the country over the past two months, NewsDay has learnt.


Latest dam level statistics released by the Zambezi River Authority (ZRA) indicate that the country’s main source of hydro-electricity power was now at 17%, compared to the 32% during the same period last year.

“The lake levels continued rising during the week under review, with the lake level closing at 477,96m on March 23, 2016, which is lower than the level that was recorded last year (482,21m) on the same date,” a statement from ZRA read.

In January, the dam’s water levels dropped to as low as 11% due to erratic rains received this past rainy season, forcing ZRA to reduce water allocation for generation of energy to both Zimbabwe and Zambia.

The World Bank forecast in December last year stated that the power deficit would linger at least until 2018 and possibly up to 2020.

With some areas being hit by load shedding, Zesa Holdings has warned that it would reduce power generation from the current 475 megawatts (MW) to 280MW this year.

Zimbabwe’s electricity generation is estimated to be around 1 077MW against a national requirement in excess of 2 200MW.

The current power crisis has seen the government ordering major mining companies and other large electricity consumers to reduce consumption by up to 25%.

Solar water heaters to save 300MW

Solar water heaters to save 300MW
Patson Mbiriri

Patson Mbiriri

THE government is pursuing initiatives to save up to 300 megawatts of electricity by 2018 through using solar water heaters in homes and public institutions, an official has said.

At least 20 percent of electricity is consumed wastefully, especially in houses.

Speaking at a stakeholder consultative workshop on the national solar water heating programme, Energy and Power Development permanent secretary Patson Mbiriri said about 40 percent of household energy consumption goes to water heating.

“A Solar Water Heating Programme was launched here in September 2015 which will help save 300MW especially in domestic households,” he said.

Mbiriri said a number of Demand Side Management opportunities were available but their implementation depended on costs, availability and technology advancement.

“In 2015, residential power applications consumed 2,500 giga-watt hours of power as compared to industry and agriculture, which had 2,200 and 470 giga-watt hours respectively,” he said.

He said there was a need to embark on programmes that encourage power saving especially in domestic households.

Zimbabwe has an internal generating capacity of 1,400 MW but is currently producing 1,065 MW while at peak demand is 1,200 MW, leaving the government to import the shortfall from Eskom of South Africa and Hydro Cahora Basa of Mozambique.

The government has embarked on several initiatives to bridge the power deficit including expanding generation capacity at Kariba and Hwange power plants. — New Ziana

Government should urgently address power crisis

Government should urgently address power crisis


No major development can take place without stable, reliable, cheaper and sustainable energy resources.

Allen Choruma

THERE is a positive correlation between power supply and economic development.
Economic development hinges on availability of energy resources. If Zimbabwe invests in power, this will in turn attract foreign direct investment (FDI), create jobs, increase opportunities and enhance living standards of our people.
No major development can take place without stable, reliable, cheaper and sustainable energy resources.
Every Zimbabwean citizen, whether an ordinary farmer or a business executive will tell you that the country is facing huge power challenges owing to frequent load shedding, vandalism of electricity cables and transformers and non-availability of power in certain areas.
In my own neighbourhood in Ruwa, we have gone for close to three weeks without electricity.
Zimbabweans behold, Kariba Dam whose water levels could soon fall below the required 475,5 metres level for power generation, could stop generating power soon unless if water levels rise.
Hilton Munendoro, in his article: Zimbabwe energy sector facing a boom clearly articulated the power challenges as follows:
i. Billing and collection of revenue from consumers;
ii. Aged and obsolete equipment;
iii. Poor state of infrastructure;
iv. Operational challenges, including under capitalisation, compounded by debt-ridden financial positions;
v. Inadequate specialised skills and tools required for planning and forecasting energy needs;
vi. High cost of rural electrification through grid extension and scattered nature of settlements; and
vii. Theft, vandalism of infrastructure by criminals, which reduces output and disrupts production.
Government interference in the running of ZESA Holdings remains an impediment to efficient operations of the power utility.
ZESA cannot increase its tariffs, or implement certain projects, for example, without government approval.
There are instances where ZESA has proposed to increase its tariffs and these proposed tariffs were either cancelled or revised downwards by government bureaucrats.
At the beginning of this year, ZESA proposed to increase power tariffs from the current US$0,986/ kilowatt-hour (kWh) to US$0,1464/kWh, but no government approval has been given yet.
ZESA imports power from the Southern African Development Community region at an average cost of US$0,1550/kWh, but sells it to consumers at a subsidised rate of US$0,986/kWh. Is this sustainable? Definitely a big NO!
In 2013, feeling the heat from government, after all local authorities had been directed by government to write-off debts for ratepayers, ZESA buckled and announced that it would write-off debts to farmers and pass a credit of US$160 to all domestic users. The cost to ZESA was a staggering US$170 million.
Dema Diesel Power Plant
Currently, there are issues with the 200 megawatt (MW) Dema Commercial Diesel Power plant project, which was awarded to Sakunda Energy and Glasgow-based company, Aggreko.
A local daily reported recently that the project has been delayed. Apparently, ZESA has refused to sign an off take agreement with Sakunda and Aggreko in the absence of a new electricity tariff increase.
What baffles us is: Was ZESA not part of the project from inception to an extent that at this late stage they are now refusing to sign the agreement with the suppliers? Surely, if ZESA were involved in the project and selection of the suppliers, and were “part of the project” why would they be refusing to sign the agreement with the suppliers?
We smell a rat here.
ZESA could have been “coerced” by government into the project and “muzzled” to prevent the parastatal’s executives from speaking against it.
This could be another example of government interference in ZESA’s operations.
The Dema project is unsustainable from a cost perspective. The diesel power plant, according to the local daily, will produce expensive power at about US$0,18/kWh yet ZESA is importing cheaper power from Mozambique at US$0,1550/kWh and from South Africa at US$0,13/kWh.
We do therefore understand why ZESA is refusing to sign the three-year off take agreement with Sakunda and Aggreko. Why would we construct a diesel power plant which is unsustainable to run and produces power at a higher cost than imported power? Why not just import the cheaper power from Mozambique and South Africa? Maybe we are missing the point here.
On another note, is the investment in diesel plants a good idea when the world is moving towards investing in sustainable clean energy?
ZESA’s initiatives to address power challenges
According to media sources, ZESA has embarked on a number of initiatives to address power challenges in Zimbabwe. These include:
•Introduction of pre-paid meters to address revenue collection challenges. A total of 38 000 meters have been installed countrywide;
•Adoption of the demand side management programme: ZESA is promoting the use of energy saving bulbs and will distribute about 5,5 million energy savers. This initiative is expected to save power usage of up to 300MW;
•ZESA is also promoting the use of solar geysers as opposed to electrical element heated geysers, which consume more energy;
•Improving security on installed equipment, such as transmission cables and transformers through police and neighbourhood watch committees;
•Lobbying for prosecution and tougher sentences on theft and vandalism cases involving its assets;
•Rehabilitation of existing power plants i.e. Hwange, Munyati and others; and
•Development of new power projects such as Kariba South, which will generate 300MW on completion.
Whatever power projects are implemented, they should also take into account the global drive for investments into sustainable renewable energy resources and clean energy with zero carbon emissions. And where fossil fuels are to be used, appropriate technology, which limits carbon emissions, should be applied.
Reforms in power regime
Comprehensive reforms in the power sector are required to ensure that Zimbabwe provides sustainable, reliable, adequate, affordable and efficient power.
Some partial reforms aimed at improving efficiencies have taken place i.e. the unbundling of ZESA into separate/stand alone companies such as the Zimbabwe Power Company, the Zimbabwe Rural Electrification Agency (ZERA), the Zimbabwe Electricity and Transmission Distribution Company etc.
The fact of the matter is, however, that these companies are still State enterprises and are part of ZESA and therefore still fall under Ministry of Energy and Power Development.
The Ministry of Energy and Power Development has also issued licences to private operators in an effort to bring in other players into the power field.
However, there has been very little impact as no major power projects have been implemented to date.
Given the fact that power projects require huge capital outlays, private players can only invest in power if the sector is de-regulated and certain policies are in place to enable them to profitably generate, distribute and sell their power.
Government through ZESA still remains the dominant player in power generation, distribution, tariff determination and billing.
ZESA still controls the entire cycle in the power business and has an undisputed monopoly.
What we need to see is the opening up of the power sector to ensure that there are other players who can also compete with ZESA so that the consumers benefit.
Currently, consumers have no option and are at the mercy of ZESA.
The following are some of the reforms required:
• Deregulate the power sector and allow private players (independent power producers – IPPs) to generate, distribute, determine own tariffs and bill consumers;
• Divesture of ZESA into independent commercial units i.e. creating stand-alone units, which will operate as commercial enterprises (outside control of ZESA). Some ZESA assets will be disposed of to private players;
• Promote Public Private Sector Partnerships;
•Promote Build Operate Transfer projects;
• Reform the regulatory environment i.e. ZERA should be independent and in turn create a non-partisan, transparent and fair regulatory environment;
• Reform the public tender system to ensure that the process is non-partisan, transparent, and fair, considering that power projects involve huge capital investments. This would weed out corruption in awarding tenders;
• Ensure that there is a regulatory framework that is clear, consistent and that brings transparency in the administration of the power sector.
We have seen economic advantages that followed when Zimbabwe opened up the telecommunications sector, which for many years had been monopolised by the Post and Telecommunication Corporation.
The opening up of the telecoms sector resulted in new players such as Econet Wireless, Telecel and Africom coming in.
We have seen huge investments in this field, resulting in the creation of thousands of jobs, improvement in networks and products thereof, lower tariffs to the consumers etc.
If the telecoms industry was opened up, why not do the same to the power sector?
Statistics show that at least 17 African countries have deregulated their energy sectors. Nigeria is one example.
During the tenure of presidents Ulusegun Obasanjo and Goodluck Jonathan, the Nigerian government embarked on aggressive power generation projects, through the creation of private sector-funded projects, IPPs and state funded National Integrated Power Projects (NIPPs).
The target of the Nigerian government was to add 4 700MW to the existing power generating capacity through the IPPs and NIPPs.
The Nigerian government, under Jonathan, managed to overcome funding and other governance challenges that almost derailed the NIPPs. Power generation grew from 2 800MW to 3 800MW under his administration.
Currently, at least 50 percent of the power produced in Nigeria is produced by private players.
Unless if there is strong political will, followed by significant national investments in new power projects, Zimbabwe will not be able to address the current power shortages, which threaten to derail economic development in the country.
Road map
Government should liberalise the power sector. The process should not be rushed to avoid pitfalls associated with hastily convened policies.
A clear road map (i.e. a power privatisation policy) which sets out government objectives should be crafted to ensure that all is in place before the energy sector is opened up. A regulatory framework, i.e. legislation passed by Parliament, that gives legal effect and sets out modalities for de-regulation of the energy sector should then follow.
Advantages of privatisation of the energy sector include:
• New investments in the power sector;
• Economic growth hence job creation;
• Increase in power generation;
• More competition hence efficiencies in power generation, distribution and billing;
• More choices to consumers as ZESA monopoly will be abolished;
• Value for money for consumers in lower tariffs.
Under a deregulated environment, government would continue to play a role in the power sector through ZESA, which would retain certain functions and strategic assets, with the other non-core assets being sold to the private sector investors.
Allen Choruma can be contacted on e- mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Power cut ruins Ingwizi maize crop

Power cut ruins Ingwizi maize crop

power lines

Sukulwenkosi Dube, Plumtree Correspondent
ABOUT 150 hectares of maize is now a complete write off due to power cuts at Arda Ingwizi Estate for the past six weeks, the estate’s manager, Samuel Nyajeka, has said.

Nyajeka said the rains that were received recently had helped to salvage the rest of crop on the 600 hectare maize field.

He said about 20 power lines that were destroyed by heavy rains in Mangwe and Kezi areas recently were yet to be fixed.

“We had not anticipated that we would experience six weeks of disruption in power and as a result we did not have any alternative source of power to use in watering the crop. 150 hectares of the crop is now a write off and we could have recorded more damage but the rains came to our rescue.

“At the time when we received rains, the 150 hectares was already in a bad state. For the past one month and two weeks we have only had power for about two hours only,” said Nyajeka.

He said maize harvesting was expected to start in May and after that winter wheat planting would start.

Mangwe MP Obedingwa Mguni, who is also a Deputy Minister of Home Affairs, said the area was constantly experiencing power disruptions that were affecting irrigation activities.

“The estate has a total of 600 hectares under maize crop. A recent visit to the estate has shown that 150 hectares is now a complete write off. During a visit by Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa last month, some of the maize crop was in a critical state as the area had gone for two weeks without power.

“This power disruption went for a further one month which has now translated to a month and two weeks. The explanation we are getting is that pole lines are down,” said Mguni.

He said such power disruptions were unacceptable especially if they affected crucial agricultural projects which are key in fulfilling the Zim Asset goals.

He said Ingwizi estate power disruptions were being reported at Zesa offices in Gwanda and staff there were taking long to respond.

Mguni said there was a need for the administration of the area to be transferred to the Zesa office in Plumtree, which was closer.

Dema power project ratified

Dema power project ratified

Felex Share Senior Reporter
THE zesa Holdings board has ratified the 200 megawatts Dema Emergency Diesel Power Project, paving way for installation works to begin.

Sakunda Holdings won the tender to install the plant.

This comes as local electrical equipment manufacturer Helcraw Electrical (Pvt) Limited has secured $120 million from the African Import and Export Bank for the construction of another emergency power plant in Mutare.

The Mutare plant is expected to add 120MW to the national grid.

Government classified the projects as “urgent” as it works on other big projects under Zim-Asset to arrest power shortages bedevilling the country.

The Dema plant is expected to start generating electricity in the next 12 weeks, in time to meet the winter peak demand. “The negotiations have now been finalised, and the necessary approvals granted. The project will commence soon,” said zesa spokesperson Mr Fullard Gwasira yesterday.

“It is expected that the project will be completed within 12 weeks from the implementation of the Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) and is expected to start generating electricity by June 2016. Negotiations for the establishment of the Dema Emergency Diesel power plant started in December 2015 and as a result of the need for due diligence to ensure the smooth execution of the project for such an important project between zesa and Sakunda, such negotiations are of necessity , but often very slow.”

Countries such as Mozambique, Botswana, Kenya, Tanzania and Zambia have gone the route of the emergency power plants, in most cases renting diesel powered generators to alleviate power shortages. The country’s power crisis, that has been worsened by decreasing electricity generation at Kariba Power Station due to diminishing water levels in Kariba Dam. The station is generating about 285MW against a generation capacity of 750MW.

Mr Gwasira said the emergency plant would complement other power imports being carried out to ensure there was no load shedding.

He said while emergency plants were expensive to run, the project was the earliest zesa could deliver.

“Diesel plants by their nature come at a premium tariff, just like the generators in our homes, but the tariff will be managed by the architecture of the plant as it is an emergency plant, and perhaps more importantly, by a mix of concessions which the shareholder has granted the project to make the tariff more affordable,” Mr Gwasira said.

‘No loadshedding this year’

‘No loadshedding this year’
Minister Samuel Undenge

Minister Samuel Undenge

Harare Bureau
ZIMBABWEANS will continue to enjoy uninterrupted electricity supply as government’s efforts to ensure constant power supply start paying dividends, Energy and Power Development Minister, Samuel Undenge, said yesterday.

The country last experienced load shedding in December last year.

Minister Undenge said the government would augment electricity from diesel powered generators to be installed at Dema Substation in preparation for high power demand from domestic consumers and wheat farmers in winter.

He said the Mutare emergency plant also running on diesel or gas, would add 120MW to the national grid and the tender was won by Helcraw Electrical (Pvt)Ltd.

Speaking at the Joint Command and Staff Course number 29 at Staff College in Harare yesterday, Minister Undenge said 2016 was a “transitional year” and there would be no load shedding.

“Although power generation at Kariba has been reduced to an average of 285 megawatts, you might have noticed that since the beginning of the year, there has not been any load shedding.

“If you’ve experienced any power cuts during this period, this was due to some faults on the system. This might appear as fiction to you as you had become accustomed to long hours of load shedding. I want to assure you that we’re working tirelessly to maintain this situation, (and) 2016 is likely to be a transitional year of no load shedding”.

He said it took some time and a lot of effort for government to deal with power outages.

Minister Undenge said government increased power imports from South Africa and Mozambique and ensured high level power generation at the four thermal power stations including Hwange to supplement limited generation capacity at Kariba Hydro Power Station.

He said some large power users embarked on energy efficiency improvements thereby releasing 25MW to other consumers.

Sable Chemicals released 40MW since they no longer use the old energy intensive technology of electrolysis in the production of ammonium nitrate.

Minister Undenge said the successful implementation of Zim-Asset needed all key economic enablers such as power to be in place as enshrined in the 10-point economic plan enunciated by President Robert Mugabe recently.

For quick economic growth, there is a need for infrastructural development, particularly in the Energy, Water, Transport and ICT sectors.

“With reference to Zim-Asset, you will agree with me that energy is the main enabler for the attainment of the set goals. We are therefore making every effort to increase its availability. The capacity demand forecast for us to achieve Zim-Asset targets is about 3,000MW,” said Minister Undenge. He said in order to achieve the above capacity, government identified short-and long-term solutions that were now being vigorously pursued.

These are: the emergency diesel generators and the repowering of the Bulawayo thermal station where the government has already secured $87 million from the government of India which will add 60MW to the grid.

This project will be operating full throttle in the next 24 months. Other measures are: repowering of the Harare power plant at a cost of $70,2 million whose tender was awarded to an Indian firm and financial modalities will be concluded soon. The project is expected to take 24 months to complete and will add 90MW to the the national grid.

The other project is the Munyati power plant which is expected to add 70MW to the grid and construction will also last 24 months.

Minister Undenge said the medium term main projects include the extension of the two existing power plants at Kariba and Hwange and the installation of up to 300MW solar plants.

Kariba Hydro Power Station is already being extended with the installation of an additional two units, which will provide 150 MW each and are at 40 percent completion stage with the first and second units expected to be complete by the end of 2017 and 2018 respectively.

Minister Undenge said Government was also involved in a number of power projects like the 2400MW from the Batoka hydropower plant, Gwanda (100MW) and the Gairezi project that would add 30MW.

He said a number of Private Sector Independent Producers (IPPS) have been licenced, the major ones being the 600MW China Africa Sunlight Energy plant at Gwayi, the 600MW southern energy thermal station at Hwange, the 600MW Lusulu thermal power station in Binga and the 2400MW Sengwa thermal power station at Gokwe.

Batoka costs double to US$4,5 billion

Batoka costs double to US$4,5 billion


Batoka power station’s turbines were expected to start turning in 2001, as the neighbours took steps to provide enough electricity to their countries.

COSTS of constructing the 2 400 megawatt (MW) Batoka hydroelectric power station have spiralled to about US$5 billion, from the US$2,5 billion budget worked out when the project was conceived in 1993, a Zambezi River Authority (ZRA) official said last week.
ZRA is a joint venture company controlled by Zimbabwe and Zambia, which has the mandate to manage the Zambezi River basin and Kariba Dam.
Batoka power station’s turbines were expected to start turning in 2001, as the neighbours took steps to provide enough electricity to their countries.
Poor funding has, however, delayed the project 23 years on.
In the meantime, costs have been advancing southwards.
ZRA chief executive officer, Munyaradzi Munodawafa told the Financial Gazette’s Companies & Markets (C&M) in Kariba last week that recent studies have indicated that Harare and Lusaka could spend at least US$4,5 billion to construct the power station.
“From the feasibility studies we are doing, we are now talking of about US$4,5 billion, and the appetite (to fund the project) is there,” Munodawafa told C&M.
“This means the costs for setting up the Batoka hydro power project have almost doubled from about US$2,5 billion at conception 23 years ago,” he said.
This will be a toll order for the two countries, whose populations have grown and are facing several challenges that include the prolonged slide in global commodities prices such as copper and platinum.
In addition, Zimbabwe and Zambia will have to commit substantial resources towards the importation of grain in order to feed millions of people facing food shortages due to drought.
Batoka will be the second major power project shared by Zimbabwe and Zambia on the Zambezi River.
The two countries already share the Kariba Hydroelectric power station, whose capacity to meet this electricity needs has been undermined by declining water levels at Lake Kariba.
Prolonged droughts in the basin are threatening the power plant, which has scaled down generation on the Zimbabwean side to 285MW.
Kariba has an installed capacity of 750MW.
Construction of Batoka would therefore hinge on whether water levels in the Zambezi recover to sustain at least three big power stations on its course.
Initially, Zimbabwe and Zambia intended to construct Batoka on a Build, Operate and Transfer (BOT) basis.
But Munodawafa said they had switched to a public-private partnership model, with ZRA expected to source funding for the project.
“A decision has been made in terms of the model. It is not (going to be) BOT anymore. It is going to be the PPP model. ZRA is going to source funding for the dam, but when you talk of ZRA you are talking of two governments,” said Munodawafa.
He said the project was now awaiting completion of an update of feasibility studies and an Environmental Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) that started in 2014, funded by the World Bank.
The feasibility study is expected to be completed in July at a cost of US$3,6 million.
A South African company, Environmental Resources is undertaking the ESIA at a cost of US$1,3 million.
The studies would recommend mitigation measures for identified negative environmental and social impacts in line with the Environmental Act, which stipulates that such studies should be re-done if three years lapse before a project commences.
Munodawafa said the next step for ZRA would be to consider bids for companies that have submitted expressions of interest to build the power station.
“The updating of the feasibility studies is progressing very well. We are now at the concluding stages. We are finishing these (studies) because they are two pertinent (processes). By the end of July we should have them (ready),” he said.
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ZESA, transformers and passing burden to customers

ZESA, transformers and passing burden to customers

Takura Zhangazha Correspondent
The Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA) is a behemoth of a state-owned and commercialised enterprise. Its remit, which is generating and supplying electricity to the country’s corporate and individual citizens is an invaluable public service that should always connote urgency, efficiency and a people centred approach to its statutory functions. When it was commercialised and split into at four separate but linked entities, namely, the Zimbabwe Electricity and Transmission Distribution Company (ZETDC), the Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC), Powertel and ZESA Enterprises, the assumption was it would become much more efficient and possibly profitable.

In the public view, there is new found surprise at the fact that electricity supplies have generally gone uninterrupted over the last three or so months.

This, however, is not testimony to efficiency. It is more the benevolence, profit motive and surplus electricity supply of the South African power distributor, Eskom. It is also a phase which will inevitably see the cost of electricity rise significantly given the announced US$6,5 million a month that ZESA is currently paying its South African counterpart.

This does not change the fact that our electricity generation infrastructure is not only still based on colonial era infrastructure but is also continually incapable of meeting the national demand for power.

What is, however, more astounding is the fact that apart from problems of supplies, there is the more direct one of maintenance of electricity infrastructure. Many an urban resident will always have one particular story to tell about ZESA and the issue of damaged sub-station transformers.

It begins with someone stealing transformer oil from a local sub-station. Where the local neighbourhood is lucky, the transformer may become damaged but still be somewhat repairable. The worst luck is when the transformer is irreparably damaged and requires replacement.

What follows if the transformer is irreparable is one of the most traumatising experiences of an inefficient public enterprise that anyone could wish for. First the fault centre casually responds with the usual promise to send technicians who may arrive more than 48 hours after the fault report.

Second, when confirmation of the transformer being irreparable is made, comes the explanation from ZESA that the community should act to secure the substation. This includes the fortifying of the sub stations doors with steel rods, all at the consumers’ expense and no contribution from ZESA. The latter’s personnel return to inspect and approve the fortification but without a replacement transformer.

The explanation given is that there is a waiting list for transformers that dates back at least two months and so the given neighbourhood will have to wait it out until it becomes its turn. This can take up to a month without electricity supplies .

In panic at the prolonged lack of electricity supplies , residents try to call relatives or friends who work for the electricity utility company in futile attempts to resolve the crisis. Eventually they give up after prolonged social media networking and threats to go and demonstrate at the local ZESA office or even the headquarters.

What all of this points to is a parastatal that is functioning with an arrogant inefficiency. Never mind the fact that electricity is to the greater extent pre-paid and borderline privatised. It is as though the personnel who work for ZESA have been trained to have a habit of withstanding public clamour for a fault to be fixed.

In the process they pass on responsibility to the organisation’s higher offices that in turn are not keen on either fully explaining reasons why there are no transformers in stock let alone where all the tariff revenue is going to.

It is an unfortunate organisational culture that is fertile ground for favouritism and inevitably, corruption. Public accountability and transparency are then considered as the aversion as opposed to the norm.

For neighbourhoods affected by the loss of a transformer, while initially trying to find quick solutions to the problem, they eventually give up on expecting the best possible public service. And it becomes a waiting game while using other more expensive energy alternatives.

In the process ZESA becomes part of the problem as opposed to being the solution. And until such a time we change the management approach of this parastatal and others, we will always be the worse off despite paying through our noses for as basic a service as electricity.

Takura Zhangazha writes here in his personal capacity (

Kariba South expansion now 40pc complete

Kariba South expansion now 40pc complete

Kariba-South-hydropower-plantGolden Sibanda Senior Business Reporter
Construction work on the 300 megawatt capacity expansion of Kariba South Power Station is now 41 percent complete, Zimbabwe Power Company has said.

ZPC said the project is progressing well with adit, a horizontal passage into a mine for purposes of access or drainage, excavations completed while the manufacturing of electro-mechanical equipment is already underway in China.

“Some of the equipment has already been delivered to Kariba for example, the crane rail was delivered in January and is being installed in the turbine house,” ZPC said.

Further, Zesa Holdings generation unit, said the draft tube material has also been delivered to site and is being assembled at the project site, which is Kariba South Hydro Power Station.

Chinese firm Sino Hydro won the Engineering Procurement and Construction contract for the extension of Kariba South, which is expected to come on line in early 2017 while the whole plant should be on the national grid end of 2018.

The Chinese firm also landed the EPC contract for the 600MW expansion of Hwange, which is producing an average of 500MW from installed capacity of 920MW as it is old, with ZPC now working on the conditions precedent before the first draw down on the loan from China Eximbank.

Kariba South, will resume production of more and the cheapest electricity in Zimbabwe once water levels at Kariba Dam rise.

It is expected that with onset of heavy rains upstream of Zambezi, lake levels will rise, but only moderately by about 1,3 metres, to add to the 1,65 metre lake level, the minimum draw down level when generation of power has to be stopped.

Kariba South and Kariba North power stations may not generate power if water levels fall below draw down level, which has head room of 1,65m and can last about 156 days at average generation levels of 285MW by both utilities.

While the lake water may still cover vast swathes of land usable for other activities such as fishery and adventure, it cannot be used for power generation when the lake water falls below draw down level of 474 metres above sea level.

'Lake Kariba not drying up'.

'Lake Kariba not drying up'.

HARARE - Although water levels at Lake Kariba are historically at their lowest, it is false and misleading for anyone to suggest that it is drying, Kariba District Administrator Amigo Mhlanga told the Daily News on Sunday this week.

In a wide ranging interview with our Assistant Editor Maxwell Sibanda (MS) carried in Kariba during the launch of the Zimbabwe Red Cross risk reduction scheme, Mhlanga (AM) said it was unfair for people who have never been to Kariba in recent times to make such claims which are not only lies but alarmist. He also refuted claims that the Chinese let out a lot of water during one of their operations at Kariba Dam.

Mhlanga admitted however that the water levels were historically low and that for the first time there was load shedding in Kariba.

Below are extracts from the interview:

MS: Is Lake Kariba drying up?

AM: No, not at all and we who live here and whose life revolve around the Zambezi River are surprised that people can stoop that low and lie that Lake Kariba and the dam are running dry.

MS: So there is no need for Zimbabweans to panic?

AM: People should stop lying; they should stop talking about what they haven’t seen. Yes, the water levels are low but that does not mean people will “die”. This river stretches up to Binga and people downstream have never raised concern that their source is running dry.

MS: What percentages are we talking about?

AM: It has decreased by 12 percent which is quite significant and such a drastic decline last happened in 1992 although off-hand I am not sure about the percentage drop then.

MS: Was there any improvement to the water levels since you conducted traditional rituals as had been called for by local chiefs and elders?

AM: Yes, to our surprise after the rituals we recorded a five percent increase in the water levels. We just did as the elders of this land instructed and this resulted in that increase — there were some significant changes.

As I speak, the fishermen are reporting an increase in their catch — kapenta and bream — because of that slight water rise.

MS: How is the Lake’s low water levels affecting people living in Kariba?

AM: The lake is the source of livelihood for all the people living in Kariba, be it drinking water, leisure boating and electricity for the whole nation. The fishermen have also been affected as they can no longer access other places using their boats. As a result there has been concentration of fishermen at areas with enough water. There is congestion and panic along the river banks as well.

MS: When do you expect the dam to fill up again to normal levels?

AM: The dam usually fills up in May, June up to July as the water comes from Angola.

MS: Will we get to May with the water left in the dam?

AM: I am not an expert, but yes we can go through to May because estimates were actually saying we can even go until October. But we will still have to continue with load shedding. We have to assess the situation and as we reach May, June, July we should be able to have a clearer picture.

MS: There are concerns that too much dam water could have been released and that the Chinese had a hand in all this — how true is this?

AM: We are also hearing from people that the Chinese had a hand but that is not true because no one ever released water from the dam. It wasn’t opened at all — I am an official of the Zambezi River Authority and we are updated on any operations at the dam and no such thing ever happened.

MS: How has been your working relationship with Zambians whom you share the dam with?

AM: Very cordial, we are like brothers because the dam is one source shared by two nations so you cannot afford to be arrogant.

MS: And there has been talk of repairs on the dam wall — have they commenced?

AM: Officially we have not been told of any such work having started. If there is something like that we have not been told yet.

MS: And how is the situation in terms of rains for agriculture?

AM: There has been some improvement for the past two weeks although the situation is not good at all. There isn’t much food in the fields because of the heat wave which hovered at around 40 (Degrees Celsius). Most of the crops wilted at germination stage and are a right-off.

MS: What are some of the challenges that you face as a district?

AM: Hunger is always upon us, the temperatures are too high, hence food supply is a necessity. The government is trying to alleviate the situation as they provide 85 tonnes of food for each ward each month.

MS: Are the roads accessible?

AM: That is our biggest challenge because the roads are very bad that we have resorted to using boats to transport food. Through other stakeholders like Pandenga Holdings —we have managed to ferry food by boats up to Chalala and from there we can easily distribute the food. A boat usually carries between 50 and 60 tonnes of food.

Zim to import electricity from Zambia

Zim to import electricity from Zambia

February 22, 2016 in Business

POWER utility Zesa Holdings (Zesa) is set to import electricity from Zambian company, Nusenfwa from August to address power shortages in the country.


Speaking during a tour of the Kariba Hydropower Station on Friday, Zesa spokesperson, Fullard Gwasira said Nusenfwa was a private public partnership arrangement and Zimbabwe was targeting to import up to 100MW from Zambia this year.

“Zimbabwe will import an initial 56MW from Nusenfwa from Zambia as of August 1, but will add 20MW until it ramps up to 100MW, as some of the mitigation measures to ensure availability of electricity in the country,” he said.

Zesa spokesperson Fullard Gwasira

Gwasira said presently the government was spending $6,5 million monthly on power imports from South Africa’s power utility Eskom.

Zimbabwe is importing 300MW of electricity from South Africa’s power utility Eskom and another 40MW from Mozambique. The country generates about 1 300MW against a demand of 2 200MW.

Presently the Kariba power station is generating 285MW instead of 750MW due to low water levels. Zesa also generates power at Hwange, Kariba and three smaller thermal stations in Harare, Munyati and Bulawayo

Gwasira, however, said the power imports were meant to augment electricity production in the country and some of the measures to increase power generation include the Kariba South Power Station project, which is now 40% complete, Hwange Power Station, Dema emergency diesel power plant and the solar geysers, electricity tariff increase among others.

“Kariba South Power Station is 40% complete, we are very happy with the progress and we are sure we will meet the 2018 target for completion in line with Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio-Economic Transformation (ZimAsset).

“Plans are at an advanced stage to introduce solar geysers, so they are a wide variety of measures for both the supply and the domestic side,” he said.

Zimbabwe has various projects that could generate an additional 3 540MW by 2018.

According to reports, these Zimbabwe Power Company projects are Gairezi Hydro Power Project to produce 30MW, solar projects to produce 300MW, Mutare peaking power plant to produce 120MW, coal-bed methane gas to produce 300MW, Kariba South 7 and 8 extension to produce 300MW, Hwange 7 and 8 Expansion to produce 600MW and together with other works on existing plants which will total 1 890MW.



ZPC to maintain Kariba power generation at 285MW

ZPC to maintain Kariba power generation at 285MW

Golden Sibanda Senior Business Reporter
The Zimbabwe Power Company can sustain power generation at the revised permissible level of 285 megawatts after Zambezi River Authority reduced water allocation for the utility’s Kariba Power Station. Zesa Holdings generation unit downgraded output from the previous production level of 475 megawatts to the current average of 285MW after ZRA reduced allocation due to falling water levels in lake Kariba.

Two power utilities generate power on the Zambezi River, ZPC on southern bank and ZESCO of Zambia on the Northern bank and at the current generation levels, the lake level falls 0,5 cm to 1 cm per day.

ZRA regulates activities on the Zambezi River, which feeds into Lake Kariba, from which the power utilities have their hydro power stations, which are also their biggest and most reliable power plants.

ZRA chief executive Mr Munyaradzi Munodawafa said while it was not expected that there would be much improvement in the lake water level this year, current generation level can be maintained until the next rains.

“The situation is still not good; the situation we have is very bad. The current trend is slightly above what we experienced in 1995 where the lake levels went worse than what we currently have.

However, in 1995 there wasn’t much generation than what we are having that is why we were at least not worried.

“However graphs are going up in terms of the water flow upstream of the Zambezi River, like in Chavuma we have about 2000 cubic metres per second of water passing and flowing across into the Zambezi River from the Angolan side flowing into Zambia.

“That water has to pass through the Barotse plains. But the Barotse were very thirsty and all that water is being gabbed in the plains and when the plains are satisfied they will release the remainder.

It is expected that the Kariba Lake water levels will increase by at least 1,3 metres this year in addition to the 1,6 metres level, which is the remaining head between the lake level and minimum level at which generation on Kariba can be sustained, although the lake will still have vast amounts of water.

“We are doing 285 megawatts today because of low water levels in the dam,” Kenneth Maswera, general manager for Kariba Power Station.

“This level was last seen in 1992. We didn’t shut down the stations we only reduced our consumption. Water flows come in between March and May, but for now there are no significant inflows”

“We are using 0,51cm to 1 centimetre of water per day. In the worst scenario that we don’t get any inflow, this will give us an extra 165 days, but once the inflows come in, we would last for another year”

ZESA spokesman and stakeholder relations manager Fullard Gwasira said rather than waiting for water inflows to improve and lake water levels to rise to increase generation, interventions have been put in place to stabilise generation and import power.

“It’s a fact that we don’t have enough water, but we’ve put in place interventions to import 300 mega watts from Eskom. We are pre-paying $6,5 million to Eskom for the power imports” Mr Gwasira said

Mr Gwasira also said that negotiations were ongoing with Lusefwa of Zambia for additional imports of 56MW to commence in August as well as 40MW from EDM of Mozambique to augment the power that is being produced by local power plant.

He said revenue collection measures had been put in place, for supply side management, to make sure availability of financial resources to purchase the power. “In January, we collected $24 million from the prepaid platform and this to a large extent has made funding available”

“We are also negotiating to import 40 mega watts from EDM and from Aug, we will be getting an additional 56 mega watts from Lusefwa in Zambia” All these interventions and the current power supply situation can only be sustained given a tariff increase.

Zim’s power situation improves

Zim’s power situation improves

Business Reporters
ZIMBABWE’S power situation has improved significantly in the past four weeks owing to a number of initiatives put in place but Zesa Holdings said the situation is not sustainable under the current tariff regime.

Zesa spokesperson Fullard Gwasira told delegates attending a Zim-Asset workshop that imports and improved generation at some local units has helped to increase availability of electricity.

“I’m sure you have noticed that from January 5 there hasn’t been load shedding anywhere in Zimbabwe,” said Mr Gwasira.

“We have an importation programme; we are getting power from Mozambique and South Africa, but at a higher tariff than our retail price so the current situation (of uninterrupted supplies) is not sustainable at the current tariff rate.”

Zesa is paying 15,5c kWh for imports from Mozambique and 13c kWh from South Africa. It charges 9,89 kWh.

The power cuts had been so severe with many residents suffering up to 18-hour blackouts. The rolling cuts were also hurting businesses, particularly mining companies.

Energy and Power Development minister Samuel Undenge said recently there is need for an increase in electricity tariffs as they are lower than the cost of production.

He said the tariff increase would enable the power utility to generate enough revenue to finance capital projects and imports. The Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority is expected to approve the proposed electricity tariff increase requested by Zesa.

“Our current tariffs have not been cost reflective,” said Minister Undenge.

“I am sure we will all agree that our consumers have not been paying and if $1 billion which is owed Zesa was paid then there was no need for us to get a loan from China to expand the Hwange unit seven and eight.

“Most of our neighbours have been increasing power tariffs by 10 percent yearly so this increase is important so that we can be able to finance new projects and the retooling exercise at our thermal stations.”

Government is implementing various projects to increase power availability. These include expansion of Kariba Hydro Power Station and Hwange Thermal Power Station.

The two projects will add a total of 900 megawatts to the national grid. The Kariba project is already 40 percent complete while Hwange is 5 percent complete, Zesa said.

Kariba water levels up

Kariba water levels up

Walter Nyamukondiwa Chinhoyi Bureau
Water levels in Kariba Dam have significantly improved following rains that have pounded the catchment area in recent days, raising hope that levels will rise to allow for resumption of normal power generation.

The Zambezi River Authority (ZRA) last year imposed a cap on daily water allocated to Zimbabwe and Zambia power authorities to stem the rate of water loss.

Online newsletter, Wild Zambezi, also reported a significant rise in water levels in Victoria Falls further up the Zambezi River.

Using a comparison of two aerial images taken on December 4, 2015 and another one taken on January 15, 2016, it managed to observe an improvement in the water levels.

Water is now flowing over a bigger part of the falls.

The development has also brought hope that increased water flow will result in improved water levels in Lake Kariba downstream.

Kariba District Administrator Mr Amigo Mhlanga said although figures are not available, there has been a notable improvement in the past week.

“There is a visible improvement through looking at physical features in the lake that were significantly exposed which are quickly being covered up,” said Mr Mhlanga.

He said if rains persist up to around February 20, the water levels in the lake will get back to normal.

Traditional leaders recently held rain-making rituals to appease the gods and ask for rain.

The ceremony follows a similar one conducted in Zambia.

Mr Mhlanga said water from Sanyati and Nyaodza rivers was now flowing into the lake.

“The flowing of Sanyati and Nyaodza rivers gives us hope that water levels will improve significantly,” he said.

The ZRA had not responded to questions sent to them.

Statistics from the ZRA website show that in the week ending January 18, water levels had dropped to 53 percent from 54 percent and the tide is expected to have been overturned with significant rains registered in subsequent weeks.

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