Govt pins hope on Emirates energy deal

ZIMBABWE’S power woes could be a thing of the past should government strike a deal with the United Arab Emirates which could materialise amid expectations that the deal could double the power generation in the country, a senior government official has said.

REPORT BY VICTORIA MTOMBA

Speaking at a two-day energy efficiency and renewable energy policy and technology conference in the capital yesterday, Energy secretary Partson Mbiriri said the food security project between Zimbabwe and Emirates would generate 5 000 megawatts (MW) of power.

“We are expecting to roll out major small hydro power stations with one related to food security being financed by the Emirates. I am told that has a potential of producing 5 000 megawatts from hydro power, double our current demand. Once it’s on, we can go to sleep on the assurance that the plant will continue . . .”

This comes after Zimbabwe and the Emirate of Ras Al Khaimar of the United Arab Emirates in March signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to work together in six areas of co-operation. The areas covered under the MoU include mining, health, energy, tourism, agriculture and industry and commerce.

Zimbabwe was represented by Vice-President Joice Mujuru while Sheikh Saud Bin Mohammed Al Qasimi stood in for Ras Al Khaimar. Mines and Mining Development minister Obert Mpofu signed another MoU on behalf of Zimbabwe with a representative of Ras Resources (LLC) Farzana Gul.

“The generation of power would be realised through food nutrition under the irrigation. It is from the fields that small hydro power stations would be installed on a number of irrigation schemes. The Emirates would finance the power generation component,” Mbiriri said.

He said the country was in need of power generation as less power was being produced against high demand.

Mbiriri said Kariba Power Station was producing 750MW compared to/against an installed capacity of 950MW while Hwange was producing 510MW. The country requires a total of 2 200MW of power against an output of 1 200MW.

“The fifth unit at Hwange would be fired today (yesterday). Material improvements have been made. I was in Hwange yesterday (Wednesday) to pat the employees on the back on the good work they are doing. They sometimes work for 24 hours,” he said.

He said small thermal power stations were producing 54MW per day due to the unavailability of coal. Harare Thermal Station was not firing due to the unavailability of coal.

“Makomo and Coal Bricks mines are making efforts towards these challenges, ” he said.

Speaking at the same conference Zimbabwe, Energy and Regulatory Authority (Zera) chief executive officer Gloria Magombo the country has an energy gap that had to be met through energy efficiency initiatives.

Magombo said according to the energy analysis gap done in 2009, the national access to energy is 36,9% while it’s 13,3% for the rural areas. He said the renewable energy use for the country was at 50% while 5,8% of rural households have access to modern energy. Usage of solar home systems is currently at 18,1%.

Meanwhile, the government is yet to resume mandatory blending of E5 after the completion of partnership between government and Green Fuel.

Mbiriri said the partnership for E5 would be 51% -49% for government and Green Fuel respectively. He said the statutory instrument for E5 had been gazetted and government had proceeded to install blending facility at Msasa and Ferruka where 90% of the fuel is coming from.

“Government decided that we should have mandatory blending of ethanol produced by a company that had a government shareholding. If it’s mandatory, then government must have a stake in it. The joint venture has not moved forward in respect of E5 it has not come to fruition. That is holding back the marriage,” he said.

22 Responses to Govt pins hope on Emirates energy deal

  1. Boss Carat June 7, 2013 at 5:11 am #

    Why do these guys want to force the blending of fuel? We dont need that in especially 2013 the world is changing a New Zimbabwe will come , freedom kubva kuvadzvanyiriri vechitema kuti iye Billy Ruetanbach adye chete , pasi nazvo UNLEADED FUEL chete blending kudini kwacho nxa……

    • haya June 7, 2013 at 1:12 pm #

      Iwe dako rako mhani hauzive kuti blending reduces the cost of fuel thereby stabilising prices

      • Lazy Boy June 7, 2013 at 7:24 pm #

        @Boss Carat & haya: blending is a way of being efficient by reducing our import bill so that the scarce foreign currency can be used elsewhere. What I know for sure is that a company where government is the major shareholder, bureaucracy & inefficiency become the order of the day. We all know that to be where our economy is it is solely our government’s (specifically ZANU PF) fault. In economics we all know that it’s one of the reasons why governments are not required to produce economic goods, but public goods instead. Very soon we will hear the initial investor has pulled out and government has taken over 100% directly or indirectly. We have a lot of parastatals that are bleeding treasury dry and yet you hear such nonsense. Why can they at most hold 25% and the remainder goes to individuals, initially Zimbabweans and get the company floated on the stock exchange. One thing for sure is that not every American citizen is not an entrepreneur and what is so unique about us Zimbabweans when we are failing the basics of corporate governance?

  2. Lucifer June 7, 2013 at 7:48 am #

    @Boss Carat vanhu vasina mota munonetsa neku hamuzive kuti fuel ino derera mutengo kana muchizvigadzirira mega. Asi nyaya yatiri kutaura pano ndeye magetsi. Icho!!!

  3. diva June 7, 2013 at 8:03 am #

    Introducing Speak-Out Zimbabwe -an online consumer complaints notebook.

    Did you get any raw deal or cheated somewhere or mistreated? Are you aware of any criminal activity or do you have a missing person you want to publish? Post your water, zesa, roads, poor service, poor quality products, abuse, shopping complaints etc here: http://www.speakoutzimbabwe.org

  4. Gandaga June 7, 2013 at 8:37 am #

    Some ppe will oppose anything from govt without giving due consideration to the merits or demerits. USA, Brazil, China, India etc have made it manditory the use of blended fuel but to my surprise a 3rd world person says no

    • Muzimbo June 7, 2013 at 10:53 am #

      True that. I personally do not agree with the pricing these (green fuel) guys are engaging in predatory pricing.

    • Toots June 9, 2013 at 1:11 pm #

      True that. Problem is that we should not promote a monopoly because it will hold us at random. Rather, let us have both blended and unblended. If there is mandatory blending then what will happen to those cars that run on gasoline only? My wish is that there must be more one company that does the blending.

  5. dreamon June 7, 2013 at 8:53 am #

    Zimbabwe can dream on solving power problems. How can power stations be short of coal when there are several coal deposits in the country? With so many Phds in the country? So many young people doing nothing, boasting of high literacy rate….

    Dream on guys..

  6. Past, past June 7, 2013 at 9:49 am #

    ZIMBABWE’S power woes could be a thing of the past! how many times have we read that “this and that” will a thing of the past and yet these problems are still with us.
    I hope Zimbabwe as a country will also not be ” a thing of the past” lol

  7. Musharukwa June 7, 2013 at 11:15 am #

    Usangotituka mahara, my Ph. D in Marketing ine chekuita ne power generation? Robostics dzine chekuita ne power generation? Ph. D in Violence ine chekuita ne power generatation, mybe political power!!!!

  8. jonathan June 7, 2013 at 1:02 pm #

    My car only takes unleaded. If i use blended fuel i loose warranty. Corruption!

  9. Themba June 7, 2013 at 1:49 pm #

    Jonathan. You car only takes unleaded and coolant, and not BLEND and water. What is burns cleaner unleaded or blend and which one is better quality, do you know? Blend is made up of what? Yet you are talking nonsense with thinking first

    Blends are mixtures of traditional and alternative fuels in varying percentages. Blends can be thought of as transitional fuels. The lowest percentage blends are being marketed and introduced to work with current technologies while paving the way for future integration. For example, B5 and B20 (biodiesel) can be pumped directly into the tank of any diesel car or truck. Ethanol is also blended (about 10 percent) into much of the unleaded dispensed in the United States, especially in metropolitan areas, to reduce emissions.

    Why is this important?

    It’s all part of the transition to using more alternative fuels. Although pure alcohol (ethanol or methanol) will burn independently, cold weather starting can be a problem. An engine has to be designed exclusively for a particular fuel to take advantage of all the characteristics of that fuel.

    Without the infrastructure in place to support pure alcohol fuels, flex-fuel vehicles (FFVs) have been designed to run on both alcohol and gasoline. FFVs marry the best characteristics of both ethanol and unleaded (or methanol and unleaded), and make it possible to utilize higher blend percentages such as E85 (ethanol) and M85 (methanol).

    Pros: A Yes Vote

    Cleaner burning than straight unleaded: Reduced exhaust emissions.
    Partially renewable: A portion of the fuel used can be replenished without fossil fuel reliance.

    Cons: What to be Aware of

    Corrosive: High alcohol content can be damaging to fuel systems.
    For the higher blends such as E85, a FFV is needed.

  10. kurai Machirori June 7, 2013 at 1:51 pm #

    Those driving government vehicles (politicians) want blend to be introduced, those who own cars want unleaded for their cars or else they will personally run the risk of lean fuel effects, loss of warranty etc

  11. Gxobinduna June 7, 2013 at 3:20 pm #

    Cry the beloved Christians as you become Muslems!

  12. Baba laquisha June 7, 2013 at 7:28 pm #

    We want action and not jus tok,we are sick and tired of empty promises

  13. UNDEREMPLOYED June 8, 2013 at 11:09 am #

    Legislate for Solar Feed in tarriffs now…

    In Germany we have one solidifying route for energy..

    SOLAR is the future .

  14. Engineer June 8, 2013 at 11:16 am #

    Guys get this, the issue of using renewable energy is a very noble one. Look at the bigger picture here, we have this huge import bill on fuel, cut that by 5% for petrol that becomes a significant amount of money that will circulate within this country and not get into the coffers of the OPEC countries helping to sustain thousands of jobs we badly need. these small things go a long way in bringing our economy to its feet. We all have to make sacrifices for our country which are not at all political but behavioral.

  15. Meatball June 8, 2013 at 1:09 pm #

    Perhaps Mr. Mbiriri could explain what a “major small” power station is. Seems to me a power station could be “major” or “small” but not both.
    And by the way, the small emirate’s name is Ras Al Khaima, not “Khaimar”. But geography is not a major subject in Zimbabwean schools, is it…

  16. Kendrick June 9, 2013 at 5:12 pm #

    As long as Zanu Pf is in power people shouldn’t be deluded in thinking the power crisis would end.Zanu is all talk and no action, i’m sure anyone who has lived in this country for more than a year would agree to that.So let’s stop kidding ourselves and wake the eff up and smell the coffee.

  17. wordwriter June 10, 2013 at 9:03 am #

    Zimbabwe has loads and loadsand mega and mega power potential. Solar energy though heating of salt then steam alone can generate enough power. We have mini biogas to power rural plots. We have coal be d methane in lupane/hwange, We have phtovotaics,

    This talk of 5000 megawatts….. I smell rotten fish. The major dams already have major or mini hydro power. We need more specifics. Does UAE plan to build hundreds of dams? why cover this up? Hydro projects from food? does he mean growing oil crops that power generators?
    We also have mega coal that can not only produce energy for us but for the whole of southern africa. We have run of the river potential in the zambezi and our major rivers..
    We are awash with potentIal. But the lziness and ineptitude of govt makes sure that we burn candles while being a saudi arabia of energy for southern africa.

  18. Kezi June 10, 2013 at 1:05 pm #

    A senior goverment offcial should never say “we will” or ” we hope”. Rather the populace wants to hear him say “we have done this”.

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