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‘Load-shedding to last four years’


Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Mines and Energy has expressed concern that Zimbabwe will continue experiencing electricity shortages for the next four years when new power generation projects are expected to be complete.

This is contained in a post-Budget report by the committee chaired by Edward Chindori-Chininga.

“The committee is concerned that the country is most likely not going to see any additional electricity being generated in 2012,” reads part of the report.

“Most of the new projects such as Kariba South expansion will take about four years to complete and the same applies to the Hwange Power Station (HPS) expansion and Gokwe-Sengwa.”

The committee accused government of failing to arrive at a permanent solution to rehabilitate HPS.

“It seems there is always a constant drop in the supply and distribution of electricity from the six generators and HPS due to incapacity of the parastatal to source the correct spares and parts required for the power station,” Chindori-Chininga said.

He added the committee was not happy with the manner in which government was going about the process of securing a financier and contractor for the Kariba South expansion project.

“A memorandum of understanding was signed between the Ministry of Finance and Sino-Hydro and is due to expire at the end of this year, but at the same time Zesa has called for tenders for the project,” Chindori-Chininga said. “There seems to be no clear vision by government on how to handle this project and yet industry and the rest of the country is in serious need of electricity.”

He said although Zesa wanted to launch a programme to replace incandescent lamps with energy-saving bulbs at a cost of $12 million and introduce pre-paid meters next year, both projects had not gone to tender.

The projects were expected to save 180 megawatts (MW) of electricity.

The committee expressed disappointment that Green Fuel in Chisumbanje was producing 18MW of electricity which was going to waste because it has not been connected to the national grid.

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