BY TAFADZWA KACHIKO/MTHANDAZO NYONI
ZESA Holdings has a backlog of 305 000 new connections and over 2 000 transformers, officials at the power utility have said.
If these new energy consumers get connected to the national grid, this will increase electricity demand to 3 700 Megawatts against the current unmet demand of
At the moment, Zesa is only able to provide 1 200MW.
This emerged during a Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Energy and Power Development tour of Zesa Enterprises (Zent) manufacturing plant in Sotherton, Harare, yesterday.
Speaking to NewsDay, Zesa Holdings international business consultant Engineer Cletus Nyachowe, who was standing in for executive chairperson Sydney Gata, said the number of new applicants was growing everyday.
“There are quite a number of houses that we need to connect in the next two to three years and Zesa Holdings is putting together funding to take care of those requirements. The current backlog stands at 305 000, but it’s going up everyday as people are applying,” he said.
“Zent has an order of 1 000 transformers from the Zimbabwe Electricity and Transmission Distribution Company and over 1 000 from the Rural Electrification Fund, which it has to meet. It has to manufacture to satisfy those orders,” he added.
Zent acting managing director Burusa Mandipezano said the power utility had also been affected by the Russia-Ukraine conflict.
“The Ukraine-Russia war has also affected us in terms of acquiring components mostly manufactured in Eastern Europe such as copper and transformer oil. We have a backlog of 2 300 transformers to be precise, which emanates from our inability to produce at maximum capacity and vandalism. We are not able to concentrate on new connections because of vandalism,” Mandipezano said.
Meanwhile, Zent is on the verge of securing a US$10 million facility from an unnamed financier that will be used to recapitalise and automate its operations.
“So this facility is going to assist in the capacity utilisation of transformer manufacturing. We are undercapacitated because some of the machines are old. The equipment is old and is now slow. Some of the machines although they are doing the work, they are slow,” Mandipezano said.
“At the moment, we are doing 250 to 300 transformers, depending on the sizes. That will translate to about 3 000 transformers every year. But we want to increase that to about 10 000 every year to cover the backlog, vandalism, new connections and total electrification in the rural areas.”
Zent manufactures and repairs transformers for both public and private entities.
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