ZIMBABWE’S electricity generation is expected to improve in 2017 after the completion of expansion works at Hwange Thermal Power Station, a report by the energy regulator has shown.
Report by Victoria Mtomba
According to the Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority (Zera) Cost of Service Study on electricity supply completed in April, the country’s perennial power crisis is expected to ease in four years due to increased capacity at Hwange.
The report, however, said electricity generated from Kariba Hydro Power Station would during the same period decline due to anticipated water constraints when Kariba South comes on line.
The report shows that a cumulative capital expenditure of $2,5 billion over five years — focused primarily on Hwange and new capacity (Hwange and Kariba Extensions, Gairezi Hydro and ZPC Solar) — is required to improve electricity generation in the country.
The country currently has an energy deficit averaging 600 megawatts (MW) due to obsolete machinery and limited investment in the energy sector.
“Zimbabwe Power Company, (ZPC) capacity is projected to remain essentially flat till 2017. ZPC production projected to increase steadily on the back of improved performance at Hwange until the substantial jump in 2017,” reads the report in part.
“Hwange is projected to deliver steady performance improvement as demonstrated by the higher capacity factor. Kariba South production levels are at acceptable levels dropping off in 2017 due to anticipated water constraints when Kariba South Extension comes on line. Performance levels of the small thermals are sustained at current low levels.”
Expansion works which commenced this year at Kariba South, according to government, were expected to be completed in 2017, adding 300MW to the national grid. The project is expected to cost $400 million.
The report further stated that quality and lack of consistency in information provided by ZPC and Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company (ZETDC) needed to be improved to reduce access to information challenges in the sector, the Zera said in its report.
“Inconsistencies apply both between ZPC and ZETDC and internally in each of the two entities. Problems include technical and commercial parameters (sales, customers numbers, operation and maintenance costs),” the report reads.