Load shedding is set to continue for the foreseeable after Energy and Power Development Minister, Fortune Chasi revealed that Zimbabwe is accessing 50MW from South Africa’ power utility, Eskom which is also struggling with power cuts.
The Zimbabwe Electricity and Supply Authority (ZESA) last month entered into a power deal with Eskom of South Africa to access about 400MW.
However, Zimbabwe is getting 50MW on a firm basis contract at an exorbitant price of US$0.28 per kilowatt-hour. Said Chasi:
We have the right to access 400MW from Eskom. But, what we are getting is 50MW which is on firm basis contract. The balance is accessed as an overdraft type.
It’s just the right to access and the balance operates just like an overdraft, which is not easy to access and service. It’s also expensive. Mozambique’s US$0.06 per kWh.
But what we should know, which is important is that we are not children of South Africa, we need to pay our bills (to allow ZESA to be viable). HCB is giving us 50MW on a firm basis and we are looking at getting 150MW.
Zimbabwe faces an acute electricity crisis with suburbs going for 18 hours without electricity every day.
The problem has been worsened by a severe drought which reduced power generation at Kariba Hydro from 1 050MW to less than 300MW.
The four thermal power stations, that is, Hwange, Bulawayo, Munyati and Harare experience frequent breakdowns due to ageing equipment.