Source: Zesa loses $1 million to rains in one month – Sunday News Mar 5, 2017
THE Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company, a subsidiary of Zesa lost nearly $1 million in revenue in January due to various faults that were triggered by incessant rains that the country has been receiving.
Zimbabwe has been receiving non-stop rains in most parts of the country since December last year resulting in massive damage to infrastructure, including power transmission equipment.
In an interview last week, ZETDC managing director Engineer Julian Chinembiri said the situation was also worsened by aged equipment and the general lack of foreign currency to import spares to fix the damaged equipment.
“In January alone, in terms of revenue we lost more than $800 000 because of the damaged equipment by rains. We also had a number of faults which are occurring because of aged equipment. And this is evident in the urban network especially in Bulawayo and Harare and other large cities. We have seen people going for long without power and that is a lot of revenue for us that is being lost. And of course it also affects our valued clients where some of them go for five days without power,” he said
Eng Chinembiri said most of the network in big cities was also wired long back and was struggling to cope with growing demand.
“As you are aware the network for Harare is an old network which was done in the 1960s to service a small area or population.
At the moment any power loss is not about generation because we are not load shedding but it is because of faults.”
He, however, said his company was embarking on a number of projects to boost availability and transmission of electricity.
“Currently we have quite a number of projects which we are embarking on, I can give you an example of here in Bulawayo, we have a project of constructing a sub- station in Cowdray Park. We know that it is a new residential area and we are putting a new 132 Kv sub station to service the growing residential area.”
The company is also carrying another project along the Harare-Bulawayo road where it aims to increase reliability and efficiency in distribution of electricity.
“We have one which we are embarking in Senga, Gweru, we have another project in Bindura and of course in Harare we have a lot of projects which we are doing. There are also some rural projects we are doing with the Rural Electrical Agency but financial constraints are slowing some of them.”
On vandalism, the company said last year alone it lost $6 million worth of equipment to thieves.
“Vandalism is taking us back. We are losing a lot of money. But we are in the process of replacing copper with aluminum conductors. We have also flighted a tender for an alarm system in distribution transformers. The programme will start in Harare. It works in such a way that if someone comes close to the transformer, an alarm will be triggered and it also triggers another alarm at the control center and the community will also be woken up by the alarm.”
The progress of installation of pre-paid metres has also been slow but Eng Chinembiri said his company was targeting to be done with domestic installations by the end of the year.
“We are done with first phase, We have also ordered 130 000 pre-paid meters, the challenge is foreign currency. From the order we have only received 20 000 because of lack of foreign currency.”