Energy and Environment: CZI raise concern on fuel & electricity

The Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries Energy and Environment committee this week held their regular meeting discussing fuel, electricity and environmental issues.

Fuel: The government has reduced the fuel excise duty which saw a slight decrease in fuel prices. However, the committee is of the view that the prices are still too high and not in line with the move to reduce the cost and ease of doing business, especially when benchmarked against the region.

The committee raised concern that a number of fuel service stations are rejecting certain forms of payments preferring cash and POS. They consistently claim that their mobile transaction platforms are out of order.

The committee also notes that one of the reasons why ethanol blending was introduced was to reduce the cost fuel. There are questions whether blending is making any real difference and the committee will be looking this issue for the benefit of members.

Electricity

Supply: ZESA was commended for improved services since there is hardly any load shedding in industrial areas except a few in cases of faults or vandalism.

Tariff: CZI through the Energy committee remain alert and is concerned about calls from some quarters for an upward review of the power tariffs. CZI is strongly opposed to a power tariff increase until the power tariff structure as well as the results of the study that was done looking at various aspects of the utility has been revealed and issues raised addressed. The committee also noted the recent wage increase demands by the the power utility workers which would have an impact on tariff if implemented.

Fuel for thermal power stations: The committee also notes that one area that may reduce pressure for tariff increase is the reduction of suspension of the various taxes on fuel that is specifically meant for electricity generation at the country thermal power stations. If the authorities could waive certain taxes for a private company for a diesel powered generation at Dema, they should be able to do the same for the main power utility.

The committee will be making specific recommendations on these issues.

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