Zesa warns of load-shedding as cash squeeze bites

Zesa Holdings is battling to settle external obligations to foreign energy producers due to a depletion of nostro accounts, Parliament has been told.

Source: Zesa warns of load-shedding as cash squeeze bites – NewsDay Zimbabwe November 22, 2016

by XOLISANI NCUBE

Giving oral evidence before the Parliamentary Portfolio committee on Mines, Energy and Power Development yesterday, Zesa Holdings chief executive officer, Josh Chifamba said, from the allocations they were receiving from the Reserve Bank, the power utility was failing to pay for imported energy, warning power cuts were imminent.

“It’s a massive challenge that we face. We are in serious arrears on all our accounts that we have with HCB (Mozambique’s Hydro Cahora Bassa) and Eskom of South Africa. We are not getting enough funds from the central bank to settle these amounts. We are getting around $500 000 a week out of a demand of $5 million a week. We are in a really serious situation,” he said.

The Zesa boss said at some point, they had to purchase more than 100 megawatts (MW) of power from the Dema plant after the government failed to pay for imports, which were relatively cheaper than procuring from the Sakunda Holdings venture.

“If things are not sorted, we would want four or five Dema-like projects to meet the demand and this is something we are worried about,” Chifamba said.

Zimbabwe requires more than 1 100MW of electricity and its local supply through Zesa Holdings’ mechanism is below 300MW and gets 100MW from Dema-Sakunda on top of power imports from Mozambique and South Africa.

Chifamba said Zesa owes Sakunda Holdings — the Dema project contractors — $8 million for energy supplied and it is charged on average $7,5 million monthly for the supply.

He said Zimbabwe pays on average $10,5 million monthly to South Africa (Eskom) and $2,6 million to HCB of Mozambique.

Chifamba said the only cheap source of power would be through its own generation, but due to the depleted water levels at Kariba Dam, they have to outsource from private players.

COMMENTS

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    Morty Smith 6 years ago

    After the ZANU’s have fed there is no currency left for things like power imports.

  • comment-avatar

    They are getting $500,000 per week from the reserve bank. The Dema diesel generators use 450,000 litres of diesel per week so if they pay for the diesel it leaves very little money to pay anything for power imports.