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Power Crisis: Standard Bank lends Zimbabwe $120m

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THE Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) has received a $120 million lifeline from Standard Bank to bankroll the rehabilitation of Kariba and Hwange power stations.
Standard Bank is the lead arranger for the facility in a partnership with The Eastern and Southern African Trade and Development Bank (PTA Bank).
The transaction was a continuation of a previous funding arrangement with ZPC, which went towards their contribution into the 300MW expansion at Kariba South Hydro Power Station.
“This funding will assist in improving access to power for Zimbabwe and Namibia, and in the medium to long term, benefits of improved power supply and reliability will also extend to other Southern African Power Pool (SAPP) members,” said Tandiwe Njobe, Standard Bank  regional head for investment banking on Monday.
“The proceeds will be applied to significant capital expenditure which will increase capacity and improve efficiency of the power stations. Without reliable access to power, industry and economic growth are negatively impacted.”
Zimbabwe is grappling with both liquidity and power shortages.
Official figures show that Zimbabwe requires about 2 200 megawatts but is producing around 1 800. It has been importing from Eskom South Africa and Cahora Basa Mozambique resulting in millions of arrears.
According to the bank, access to energy remains critical to economic growth of sub-Saharan Africa but it power supply remains extremely limited across large parts of the region.
“It was important for us to support the regional power sector through this loan facility. The facility is significant in its contribution to increasing power generation in a region which has an on-going deficit and a clear need for dependable and sustainable power supply,” she said.
The country is currently facing a disconnection threat end of May from Eskom for failure to keep-up with financial commitment tied to power supply.Advertisement