US$890k per week Eskom debt repayment deal unlocks 400MW

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By Leopold Munhende

ZIMBABWE is set to receive 400MW in a relief electricity deal from South Africa’s Eskom on condition it pays US$890 000 to service its growing debt of about US$25 million owed to the neighbouring country’s power utility.

Information Minister Monica Mutsvangwa told journalists at Tuesday’s Post Cabinet Media Briefing that Treasury had already commenced settling the debt.

“Cabinet was informed by the Minister of Energy (Fortune Chasi) that an arrangement to unlock the supply of 400MW has been concluded with Eskom.

“In terms of this agreement, Government, through Treasury, has commenced the payment of US$890 000 per week towards the settlement of its debt to Eskom,” said Mutsvangwa.

“Similar discussions will soon commence with Hydro Caborra Bassa (HCB) of Mozambique.”

The development comes a week after government sourced US$15 million to pay part of Eskom’s debt from a local bank as part of efforts to unlock the 400MW deal.

Chasi confirmed that already two payments have been made.

Zimbabwe is struggling with an electricity crisis that has been caused by extremely low water levels at its main Station in Kariba and subdued production at all its smaller stations in Harare, Munyati and Hwange.

Government has maintained the situation was getting better.

Currently Zimbabwe is producing 403MW of electricity from its three stations, just over a third of its 1 400MW on peak demand.