The government could withdraw licences awarded to Independent Power Producers who have so far failed to operate with the country experiencing a debilitating electricity crisis.
This was revealed by Energy and Power Development Minister Advocate Fortune Chasi during an interview with State media after a tour of Bulawayo Power Station last Friday. He said:
We need to quickly advance the execution of projects by all those who are licensed.
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I have asked Zera (Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority) to examine the status of each licensed project to see exactly where we are with each of them.
We need to understand if there are specific challenges each particular licensee is facing.
If we are satisfied that there is unjustified pilgrimage around the implementation of the projects, then the necessary action will be taken.
We cannot have a long list of licences which are not productive.
Everything has to be very legal.
The licensees must be given the right to explain themselves around the issue of non-performance because, at the end of the day, we cannot hang onto people that keep licences for speculative purposes.
Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority (ZERA) chief executive officer, Eddington Mazambani said that only 16 projects are operating contributing 131,276 (MW) to the grid.
Meanwhile, the country’s power plants were producing a combined total of 908MW as of Friday last week.
Due to low water levels in Lake Kariba, Kariba Hydro Power plant was generating (574 MW), Hwange Thermal Power Plant a meagre (319 MW) due to ageing equipment and constant breakdowns, while Harare was producing (15 MW).
Munyati and Bulawayo were not contributing anything to the national grid.