ZESA Holdings has renewed its power import deal with the South African power utility, Eskom, which guarantees a daily supply of 300 megawatts (MW) of electricity.
Source: Zesa renews Eskom power import deal – NewsDay Zimbabwe March 14, 2017
BY TARISAI MANDIZHA
A South African delegation is in the country to negotiate and structure a deal between the government of Zimbabwe, Zesa Holdings and Eskom.
Speaking on the sidelines of an ongoing meeting between South Africa and Zimbabwe yesterday, Energy and Power Development minister Samuel Undenge said the meeting between the two power utilities was a commercial arrangement and would guarantee a steady supply of electricity in the country.
“We are in a meeting with Eskom; they paid a courtesy call on me and the ambassador of South Africa to Zimbabwe Mphakama Mbete. After having a deficit in Zimbabwe caused by the low water levels at Kariba we are importing from South Africa. We want a situation where we will continue without load-shedding,” Undenge said.
“We have not had load-shedding since December 2015. My mandate as Minister of Energy is to ensure that we have a steady supply of electricity and I don’t want load-shedding to return and we have been assured of a steady supply from Eskom.”
He said the two utilities were in the process of working out the nature of agreement, where Zimbabwe will pay for what is imported and honour its payments.
The renewal of the deal will ensure an uninterrupted supply of electricity, as the power utility has no capacity to meet the demand from consumers and industry.
As of yesterday, the power utility was generating 967MW below the installed capacity of 1 960MW, according to the ZPC website. In a peak season, the country requires 2 200MW.
Undenge urged customers to pay their electricity bills on time, as this would enable Zesa to pay Eskom. The power utility is owed over $1 billion by customers.
Speaking at the same event, Mbete said: “Energy collaboration is very important to neighbouring countries as you know energy is an economic enabler, and this is what we adopt as countries. We are hoping after this, there will be a stronger and consolidated bilateral energy collaboration which will strengthen our economies not in a short time, but on a long-term basis.”
Eskom has previously been supplying electricity to Zimbabwe and the deal was part of an arrangement among southern African power utilities to sell surplus electricity to each other.
According to reports, Zimbabwe pays an average of $10,5 million monthly to South Africa (Eskom) and $2,6 million to HCB of Mozambique.
But Zimbabwe has been struggling to pay for supplies and in November owed $30 million in power imports to regional power utilities. The regional power utilities have in the past threatened to switch off the country over debts.