Zimbabwe’s Deputy Energy Minister Mrs. Magna Mudyiwa has disclosed that the government has paid USD 10 Mn to Mozambique’s Hidroeléctrica de Cahora Bassa (HCB) as it attempts to unlock more power supply.
Prior the USD 10 Mn payment, Zimbabwe owed the power utility USD 35 Mn.
“If we can get up to 400 megawatts from HCB, that will be fine for us. We have to source for the funds because our electricity situation is not that good so we have to source for funds to pay HCB,” the deputy minister revealed at the sidelines of the 53rd Southern African Power Pool Management (SAPP) Committee official opening on Thursday.
Following the payments made partly to service the accrued debts, Zimbabwe will be expecting HCB, which is the largest Independent Power Producer in Southern Africa, to increase power exports.
This new development comes hardly a month since Eskom restored power supply to Zimbabwe following a debt repayment plan which was introduced requiring ZESA to pay USD 890K weekly to service its debts.
The Emmerson Mnangagwa-led country has been subjected to endless and prolonged power cuts lasting up to 18 hours a day. The power outages have made it impossible for businesses to operate forcing some to close shops. Small businesses have been pushed to adjust their working hours to operate at night since power is available between 10 pm and 5 am.
“We need about 1 800MW per day, but unfortunately currently there has been a further scaling down at Kariba, it is now limited down to 190MW from 1 050MW. Hwange is on about 522MW. We receive 50MW from Mozambique, 400MW from Eskom and from small thermals we get about 35MW, that is all the power that’s available. We are still about 700MW short,” Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company (ZETDC) acting director Ralph Katsande told business digest.
Dwindling water levels in Kariba, unserviced equipment at power stations as well as debts owed to Eskom and HCB are some of the reasons the Southern African country has faced one of its worst-ever power crisis.
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