Chasi vows to withdraw licences from under-performing energy firms

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By Staff Reporter

NEWLY-APPOINTED Energy Minister Fortune Chasi says his ministry shall soon follow up on all companies that were issued licences in the energy sector to see if they were delivering on set targets.

“As a new minister, I expect to see research results and strategies that resolve some of our challenges and proposals to restructure the sector for better performance,” Chasi told guests at the Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority (ZERA) ISO Certification event in Harare Friday.

He also said that State entities under his ministry cannot afford to relax as they were key to the entire production chain that ensured services were delivered.

“Government is concerned with the number of licenced companies that have failed to develop projects from concept to commissioning,” said the Mazowe legislator.

“Against that background, I would like to see a more streamlined procurement system for new projects in future.

“But we are not going to stop there. We are going to publicise those that were given our licenses. We are going to give the public the information because the public is entitled to know who has promised what in terms of whether its power generation, whether its importation of fuel and the conditions attached to that.”

Chasi said his ministry was set for “deep seated” discussions with licence holders to see if what they promised when they applied for licences is exactly what they have set themselves to achieving.

“If it is clear to us that you failed to get the targets that are expected, we reserve the right to withdraw the licence,” he said.

The minister went on to say that the petroleum sector remains a challenge with multiple procurement companies which also need a transparent process to rationalise their participation.

Commenting on fuel and power availability, Chasi said government remains concerned with the queues for fuel and was working on long term financing mechanisms with the RBZ which will see the supply gaps being eliminated over time.

He added, “Government is working closely with the power utility to ensure that there is increased power generation from different sources other than Kariba Power Station including import.

“On the other hand, government would like to see ZERA playing a pivotal role in terms of increasing public awareness, information dissemination and consumer education on efficient use of energy products including uptake of renewable energy technologies.

“Key to your certification is the ability to meet your commitment to your customer charter and your stakeholders needs, responsiveness is key in the Second Republic and the Ministry would like to see proactive institutions who are strategic in addressing the country’s challenges.”