Power import debt subsides

Staff Reporter

The country’s power import debt has rescinded this month following payment made to Eskom of South Africa, Electricity De Mozambique (EDM) and Cahora Bassa of Mozambique by the Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company (ZETDC).

A source within ZETDC confided in this publication that the payments made by ZETDC to outside power companies greatly reduced the electricity import debt.

“The power import debt rescinded to US$53 028.424 on 10 January 2022 from US $139 693 613 on 23 December last year following US$7 165 188 payment made to Eskom of South Africa on 7 January 2022, US$18.5 million payment to EDM on 24 December 2021 and US$61 million payment to Hydro Cahora Bassa (HCB) of Mozambique on 24 December last year.

“ZETDC raised US$7 165 188 from exporting companies bill payments and the remainder of US$79.5 million was disbursed from the Africa Export Import Bank (Afrexim Bank) US$110 million loan facility to ZESA Holdings. The payment has greatly reduced the electricity import bill,” said the source.

According to the source, the payment of US$79.5 million to Mozambique power utilities has created room for ZETDC to resume power imports negotiations with Mozambique.

The source revealed that as at 10 January 2022, electricity supplies from Eskom ranged between 300 MW and 350 MW and EDM supplied 50 MW. He added that as of last week, load shedding in the country was stable at 150 MW.

The same source added that as of Monday this week, the local power generation stood at 1 276 MW against a national demand of approximately 1 440 MW of electricity. He added that Hwange Power Station was generating 165 MW from its two units and Kariba South Power Station was generating 875 MW from its seven units. The source added that small power generating stations were producing a total of 12 MW.

Power supply in the country is likely to improve this year as Mozambique is expected to agree to more power exports to Zimbabwe. ZESA intends to secure an additional 80 MW from Mozambican power utilities and this will be in addition to the 100 MW it is currently receiving from that country.