HARARE, Feb 25 (BERNAMA-NNN-NEW ZIANA) -- Zimbabwe''s state-owned power
utility, Zesa Holdings Ltd, owes other regional utilities US$100 million,
hindering its ability to import electricity, says Energy and Power Development
Minister Elton Mangoma.
He told journalists here Thursday that the country was currently importing
between 100 and 300 megawatts (MW) of electricity from Mozambique and Zambia to
supplement the country’s own generation of 1,400 MW against demand of more than
"These countries are willing to export more power if we pay for the current
imports and something towards the accumulated debt of nearly US$100 million
USD," said Mangoma, who added that the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) was
also willing to export between 50 and 100 MW starting next month.
In spite of the power shortage in the country, Zimbabwe was also exporting
150 MW to Namibia as part of an agreement reached between the two countries when
the latter funded the rehabilitation of Zimbabwe''s Hwange Power Station (HPS).
The minister said Zimbabwe was failing to generate enough electricity to
meet domestic demand because there had been no major investment in the sector
for many years.
"There has also been no meaningful repair and maintenance to both generation
plants and transmission and distribution networks over the last 12 years," he
Mangoma added that the current rainy season had also exposed the fragilities
of the country’s dilapidated transmission and distribution network, while the
power utility also had to contend with high cases of equipment vandalism.
The minister said Zesa Holdings, which has had its proposed 30 per cent
tariff increase suspended, required a viable tariff to allow it to invest in new
capacity. The proposed tariff was suspended on Tuesday, following a public
outcry over the higher charges, which both business and consumers said were
Meanwhile, Mangoma said plans were underway to boost the country’s power
generation capacity at the two main power stations in the medium term. The plans
included boosting the output at HPS by 600 MW and at Kariba South by 300 MW.
Two more power projects with additional capacity of up to 4,500 MW were also
in the pipeline, with the first one expected to come onstream by 2014.
In the long term, projects to increase generation to over 15,000 MW had also
been lined up, the minister said.
Mangoma reiterated plans to introduce a prepaid metering system as part of
efforts to rationalize electricity as well address the contentious issue of high
The minister described as “shambolic and beyond repair” the billing system
currently being used by the power utility.
-- BERNAMA-NNN-NEW ZIANA