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CZI urges solution for power cuts


Outgoing Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI) president Joseph Kanyekanye yesterday said Zesa appeared clueless on solutions to the countrys perennial electricity shortages.

Speaking at the Confederation of Zimbabwe Industry (CZI) breakfast meeting in Harare, Kanyekanye said the countrys industrial base remained low with electricity shortage being cited as the major impediment to growth.

The country should be able to get power during off-peak hours, but in reality that is not happening, he said.

Kanyekanye said Zimbabwe faced challenges that required concrete steps in improving power generation, use of ethanol in blending, management of national debt and re-engagement with Western countries.

With our diamonds, we should not be complaining of inadequate funding, he said.

By adopting infrastructure funding schemes as seen in Zambia, with the Chinese, we could have sorted power and water issues.

Kanyekanyes call comes in the wake of an extension of the tendering process for the rehabilitation of the Hwange Thermal Power Stations unit seven and eight by a month.

Eleven bidders have been shortlisted for the expansion of the Hwange and Kariba South power plants. The winner is expected to be announced in the third quarter.

The expansion of the Hwange thermal power station is expected to add 600 megawatts (MW) to the national grid.

Speaking at the same event, Zesa chief executive officer Josh Chifamba said the short-listed international companies had asked for an extension.

The bids will only be processed in July as bidders have asked for an extension, Chifamba said.
He said he was hopeful the projects would come through saying what was outstanding was to tie up the loose ends regarding the financing of the projects.

If we get a financial closure by the end of the year, then by 2016, the two projects should start producing power, he said.

The government also plans to expand the Kariba South hydropower plant in order to increase its capacity by 300MW.

Zimbabwe produces around 1 000MW of electricity, compared with peak demand of 2 200MW.

Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority chief executive officer Gloria Magombo said the authority was working towards engaging all stakeholders in order to address the issue of tariffs.

The processes are very clear in terms of the legislation and the methodology is quite clear and ZERA is working towards to address that, said Magombo.

National power demand is estimated to be at 2 200MW, against available generation of 1 200MW and installed capacity amounting to 1 960MW.

Hwange and Kariba power stations are currently using six units each and the expansion will see each station adding two units.

Meanwhile, industrialist and Nestl Zimbabwe managing director Kumbirayi Katsande yesterday bounced back as CZI president.

He takes over from Kanyekanye whose term has expired.

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