Govt releases US$34 million for electricity imports

Mthuli Ncube

Government has availed US$34 million to the power utility towards the importation of electricity from regional producers.

The country is in the throes of a biting power crisis that has seen some areas go for days without electricity.

Speaking in the national assembly last week, Finance minister Mthuli Ncube said the government had availed resources to assist the Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company (ZETDC) and Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC).

“We have intervened in terms of emergency resources to support both ZETDC and ZPC to the tune of US$34 million to source power from outside.  Unfortunately, that is the best we can do immediately and this is being processed over the next seven days,” Ncube said.

As part of mitigating measures, the government will today also announce independent power producers (IPPs) expected to ease power shortages in the country.

Ncube said the government had concluded the structure and framework to support investment from independent power producers.

 “On the issue of power, of course, this is a challenge to the economy and the government is doing everything it can.   We have concluded the structure and framework of what we call the government implementation Agreement to support investment from IPPs.

“It will cover three areas — an appropriate level of tariffs; government guarantees on the power purchase agreement and also guarantee currency compatibility.  They have asked for these three things and we have put three of the projects on the pilot.  We are now satisfied that we can, as government, support,” Ncube said. 

“Monday next week (today), we will make an announcement and this will go a long way in the medium term in dealing with the power situation,” he added.

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