Zim Exploring New Power Supply Deals

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ESI Africa

ZIMBABWE has been plagued with recent electricity troubles and in a bid to increase supply the country is in negotiations with Zambia and Mozambique. If agreed upon, the country will import an additional 280MW from its two neighbours.

In power deals, the southern African country is currently importing 50MW from Mozambique and also has a firm supply agreement of 100MW with Eskom of South Africa.

However, due to generation challenges at Eskom, the supplies have been intermittent.

“Zambia has indicated that they have a surplus of 100MW from the Kafue Gorge, which they can sell to us and a delegation from ZESA went to Zambia on Monday for the negotiations,” said Minister Zhemu Soda.

“Mozambique also told us that they have an additional 180MW over and above what we are currently importing and these new two deals will give us an additional 280MW. That should help us to reduce the deficit of between 200 and 300MW.”

Zimbabwe is looking to achieve electricity self-sufficiency mid next year when unit seven of Hwange thermal power plant is expected to come on stream, the Minister said.

Zimbabwe is adding two units at the Hwange plant with a capacity of 300MW each with the first unit expected to be commissioned in July and the second in September 2022.

Last week, Solgas, a private investor, started feeding 5MW from its solar plant in the Matabeleland North Province onto the national grid. ZZEE, a Chinese investor is also expected to start feeding 25MW from its thermal power station in Hwange in the next few weeks while the Harava Solar Park in Seke is expected to be switched on before the end of this year, with an initial production capacity of 6MW.

“The coming on stream of the new small power projects will help us to stabilise internal power supplies in the near future but our major breakthrough would be in July next year when we commission the first unit at Hwange,” said Soda.

Zimbabwe is targeting to add more than 2 000MW to the national grid mostly from renewable and cleaner sources including solar, wind and other sources by 2030.

The country is also offering significant incentives in a bid to woo investors and these include five-year tax breaks for IPP projects, duty-free import of equipment and designation of large projects as key national projects.