Industry welcomes proposed power tariff review 

Source: Industry welcomes proposed power tariff review | The Herald October 4, 2019

Industry welcomes proposed power tariff reviewMr Chigwada

Bulawayo Bureau
THE Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI) says it welcomes any power tariff adjustment that improves supply and enhances productivity in the manufacturing sector.

CZI national vice president Mr Walter Chigwada said this in an interview yesterday following plans by Zesa Holdings through its subsidiary, the Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company (ZETDC), to increase electricity tariffs from 38,61 cents per kilowatt hour.

“As long as the power tariff is within reason, something that is affordable and improves electricity supply, it’s welcome. Already industry has got a lot of stress from the challenges prevailing and the issue of power is one of the key enablers for us to be able to move forward,” said Mr Chigwada.

“We need to have affordable power. We need to move away from those days where power was just too cheap for anyone to be able to be supplied.”

ZETDC said the existing power tariff of 38,61 cents/kWh was no longer viable.

It further said local electricity production has been negatively impacted by low water levels in Lake Kariba. The power company said this has restricted electricity production to an average capacity of 190 megawatts at Kariba, which is Zimbabwe’s major power station with an installed capacity of 1 050MW.

As of yesterday, the Zimbabwe Power Company indicated on its website that the country was generating a total of 700MW from all its power stations.

Mr Chigwada said in light of the prevailing power challenges facing the economy, it was critical for the country to move with speed in addressing the issue adding that electricity imports were key going forward.

ZETDC has said the electricity tariff applied for would enable it to raise the required working capital for the improvement of among other things, local electricity generation, procurement of critical spares for maintenance as well as electricity imports to reduce load shedding.

Contacted for comment on the matter, Zera acting chief executive, Mr Edington Mazambani said: “You were too early because when they (ZETDC) put that advert, it kick-starts the whole process of reviewing and consulting on the tariffs.

“We are currently doing that, so the number can only be shared after the full consultation process has been done.”

Presently, the country’s demand for power hovers around 2 000MW. However, due to ageing equipment, existing power plants are generating far below the national requirement and this has prompted Government to embark on extension works at its major power stations.