Government to prioritise power generation

Staff Reporter

Zimbabwe will prioritise the completion of Hwange Power Plant 7 and 8 as part of its mitigating measures to curb power shortage in the country.

This was said by the Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Professor Mtuli Ncube during a presentation of the 2023 National Budget Statement at the new Parliament in Mount Hampden.

“To avert the impact of electricity supply disruption, Government has prioritised the completion of Hwange 7 and 8 Expansion Project, as well as promotion of investments in renewable energy sources by Independent Power Producers.

“The country has been facing electricity supply challenges, attributed to depressed generation at thermal power stations, low electricity production at the Kariba Power Station and vandalism of distribution infrastructure,” said Minister Ncube. 

Minister Ncube further informed the nation that, as a measure to stabilise power supply, efforts were under way to ensure that Hwange Units 7 and 8 are completed on time so as to add the much needed 600 MW to the national grid.

Other measures which will also be employed to cushion the electricity crisis include, gradually reviewing upwards electricity tariffs with the ultimate goal of reaching a cost reflective tariff.

“Government is also gradually reviewing upwards electricity tariffs, with the ultimate goal of reaching a cost reflective tariff, which should enable the power utility to improve generation and capacity to import in order to close the supply/demand gap,” he added.

According to Minister Ncube, major consumers of electricity such as ferrochrome smelters require to have their tariffs reviewed upwards as they are being undercharged.

Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company (ZETDC) is also due to roll out smart metering programme, as well as completion of the prepaid metering project in order to ensure that the debtor’s book is maintained at sustainable levels, thus creating a bankable balance sheet.

Demand for power has been exacerbated by the rapid growth of industry since the incoming of the Second Republic. Government is also seized with plans to design and install mini-hydro power plants on all inland dams. Engineers are currently working on a mini-hydro power plant on Gwayi-Shangani dam.