HomeBusinessBanks work on Zesa securitisation

Banks work on Zesa securitisation

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BANKS are still looking at finding ways to securitise Zesa Holdings to the tune of $150 million from $944 million that the utility is owed by customers.

BUSINESS REPORTER

Zesa Holdings chief executive officer Josh Chifamba said the process was still ongoing although it was taking time.

“The banks are doing due diligence and it really takes time,” he said.

The power utility would be securitising money it was owed by customers who were already on prepaid metres.

Securitisation is the financial practice of pooling various types of contractual debt such as residential mortgages, commercial mortgages, auto loans or credit card debt obligations.

Domestic customers owe the utility $322 million, followed by commercial customers ($314 million), mining and industrial ($208 million), farmers
($70 million) and public lightning ($29 million).

The domestic debt of $172 million was being recovered through prepaid metres at a rate of 25% of the purchase amount.

Chifamba said efforts were underway to install prepaid metres for farmers.

So far, over 429 000 prepaid metres have been installed countrywide, about 81% of the targeted 532 000 metres under phase 1.

He said despite the government debt relief extended to customers in October last year, outstanding debt continued to rise.

Customers were failing to pay due to the prevailing economic challenges, low income levels, perceived high electricity tariffs and the negative attitude towards payment of electricity by most Zimbabweans.

The country was facing a 800 megawatt shortfall against a 2 100 megawatt capacity although it was getting 1 960 megawatts due to ageing equipment.

He said Hwange power station’s six units were operational, producing 700 megawatts.

Zesa Holdings subsidiary Zimbabwe Power Company signed a $1,5 billion power deal with Sinohydro of China for the expansion of Hwange 7 and 8.

The expansion of Hwange 7 and 8 will add 600 megawatts to the national grid a move that will ease power shortages in the country.

The power deal was expected to commence after the financial closure has been concluded.

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