ZAMBIA Energy Minister Peter Kapala says ZESCO will next month commence with the exportation of 100MW electricity to Zimbabwe under a five years deal.
In a statement published on his Facebook page, Mr Kapala noted that power from the Kafue Gorge Lower will be exported to Zimbabwe and Namibia through contracts signed in the last few months.
He added that Zimbabwe is currently facing a critical shortage of power because of the local power shortfall which has been worsened by the depressed generation at Hwange and Harare thermal power stations, including the loss of one unit, that is unit 6, that produces 125MW at Kariba Power Station.
The Minister explained that Zimbabwe Power Company – ZESA’s power generation arm is currently producing 1 201MW at its five power stations against peak winter season demand of 2 200MW, and last week, the biggest power generation plant in Zimbabwe, Kariba South, was generating only 758MW against an installed capacity of 1 050MW while Hwange Power Station was generating 411MW against an installed capacity of 920MW.
“This has forced the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA) to facilitate the creation of a group of intensive energy users to finance power imports from the region,” he said
And Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company (ZETDC) Acting Managing Director Howard Choga told Zimbabwean media that the power imports were imminent.
“We signed power import deals with Zambia a long time ago, but we had not been getting electricity from that country because of cash flow challenges. Now, because we have prepaid, we expect this to be settled in the coming weeks and we will start receiving 100MW from Zambia. We have to prepay them a month before we receive the electricity,” he explained
Mr Choga added that the power import deal with ZESCO has a three to five-years tenure, as the negotiations with ZESCO were premised on Zimbabwe making pre-payments for the 100 MW, which will come from Kafue Gorge Lower and the condition precedent is that ZESA has to pay monthly deposits of USD 6.3 million to enjoy the facility.
He noted that the task of importing electricity from Zambia was led by a delegation to its subsidiaries namely, the energy generating company Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) and the Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company (ZETDC) and other subsidiaries such as the investment branch ZESA Enterprises (ZENT) and internet provider PowerTel Communications (Private) Limited.
“ZESA is the only electricity generator and supplier for the public grid which represents Zimbabwe in the Southern African Power Pool,” he said
Mr Choga noted that Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority, (ZESA) whose official name is ZESA Holdings (Private) Limited, is a state-owned company whose task is to generate, transmit, and distribute electricity in Zimbabwe.
Meanwhile, Zambia has welcomed plans by South Africa to import power to meet its power needs.
The minister said the move will increase the ready market for Zambia’s surplus power, adding that plans were also underway to interconnect the power grids with Angola.
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa said recently that his government would consider importing power from Zambia to address the energy crisis the country was facing.