ZESA Holdings’ subsidiary, the Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission Distribution Company (Zetdc), says it plans to trade off its debt to banks as a way of recovering close to a billion dollars it is owed by customers.
BY VICTORIA MTOMBA
Addressing members of the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Mines and Energy, Zetdc managing director Julian Chinembiri said the company was owed about $1 billion by customers, adding that various creditors owed the power utility $374 million, with the bulk of it being legacy debts.
“It is an idea that we are still pursuing, that banks can buy our debt and we do a discount on the amount and the banks get the actual amount from the customers. The difference is we will get the debt at once,” Chinembiri said.
He, however, said the amount of money that would be sold off to the banks had not yet been agreed on.
Zetdc was owed over $300 million by domestic customers, public lighting $27 million, mining and industries $244 million, while commercial and agriculture owe the utility $351 million and $75 million respectively.
Zetdc owes $132 million to internal institutions while its external debt is $169 million and $72 million was interest.
The country’s maximum demand for power was 1 950 megawatts (MW), but 1 256MW was being generated leaving a deficit of 600MW.
Chinembiri said the power deficit was being managed through load-shedding.
He said the six recently-commissioned independent power producers were adding 26MW to the national grid.
Chinembiri said the country was exporting 80MW to Nampower of Namibia while it was getting 50MW on a firm basis from Hydro Cahora Bassa on a upfront payment plan. He said since the country adopted the prepaid metering system, the company had saved 103MW of power to date.
He added that only 87 537 points in Mbare, Highfield, Mufakose, Kambuzuma, Mabvuku and Epworth were still on post-paid system.