New Zimbabwe.com

Struggling ZESA set to increase power exports to Namibia

By Staff Reporter


State-run Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA) senior officials are expected to meet with executives from Namibia’s electricity company NamPower and finalise some on-going negotiations for the supply of an additional 50 megawatts (MW) to Namibia.

This was announced recently by Namibia’s Deputy Minister of Information and Communication Technology, Engel Nawatiseb during a briefing of that country’s cabinet deliberations.

“Cabinet has directed Namibia’s power utility company NamPower and the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA) to meet to finalise the on-going negotiations for the supply of an additional 50 megawatts to Namibia,” Nawatiseb told the media last week.

Currently, ZESA is exporting 80MW to Namibia and if the latest negotiations are successful; Zimbabwe will be exporting a total of 130 MW to Namibia.

In 2015, ZESA and NamPower signed a 15-year agreement for Zimbabwe to supply electricity to Namibia following the end of an initial agreement signed in 2006.

The initial agreement between ZESA and NamPower saw the Namibian power utility rehabilitating the Hwange Power Station in Zimbabwe at a cost of US$40m.

NamPower is currently importing 12 per cent of its electricity from ZESA and another 48 per cent from Eskom in South Africa.

However, the completion of the new agreement remains doubtful as ZESA is currently struggling to supply power to its local consumers due to the drying up of the Kariba Dam where the Kariba South Hydro Power Station is located.

The problem has been worsened by failure to secure foreign currency to pay foreign debts and import sufficient electricity supplies from South Africa and Mozambique.

Consumers are going for 18 hours a day without power supplies.

Meanwhile, the Namibian government has instructed its Works Ministry to appoint a consultant who will explore opportunities on the construction of a railway line that connects Zimbabwe and Namibia’s Walvis Bay under the Agreement on Cross Border Railway Transport.

Zimbabwe has a dry port facility at the Walvis Bay.