CZI engages power utility as power situation deteriorates

The CZI Energy and Environment Committee has engaged the power utility, ZESA  to discuss the power supply status, which has seen several parts of the country experiencing Power cuts in some cases lasting upto ten hours

ZESA highlighted  the fall in water levels in Kariba as the main reason for reduced power supply. Kariba, the largest electricity producer in Zimbabwe with a capacity of 1,050 MW, is generating less than a third of that due to low water levels caused by a severe drought.

The breakdowns at Hwange thermal power stations have not helped the situation. Coal price has increased by 500% and diesel price has also increased phenomenally. ZESA indicated that the despite all these increases, their tariffs have remained stable since 2011.

Despite indications that ESKOM is facing its own power supply struggles, power utility Zesa Holdings stated that they are still able to import from them during off peak hours.  However, ESKOM and HCB are both owed by ZESA large sums of debts and they can only be allowed to import if ZESA presents a proper plan to service their debt.

In the past, when ZESA was facing such shortages, it appealed to its customers and to industry for help. ZESA is therefore appealing to CZI membership for support in mobilizing foreign currency and generating local currency. ZESA stated that they are unable to disclose the exact figures they need at the moment, but they will do so in due course.

CZI pointed the ZESA should bring a full proposal of the terms and conditions for such and arrangement in order to effectively engage members. CZI also indicated to ZESA that the tariff in RTGS was not sustainable and would support ZESA tariff review depending on the magnitude and well and the procedures being followed. Amid all this, ZESA is prioritising industry and mining. For those with dedicated lines they will be able to get power with little or no interruptions. Those without dedicated line may approach ZESA. This is to ensure an almost continuous cycle of production, at a time when generators, the most popular alternative, are expensive to run with diesel prices having shot up. 

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