The Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority (ZERA) has said a collective US$776.1 million is needed to fund electricity generation projects in Matebeleland South province.
The projects are being implemented by seven independent power producers (IPPs) who have a combined installed capacity of 479.75MW.
Responding to written questions from Business Chronicle following his tour of IPP projects in Matabeleland South last week, Zera chief executive officer, Mr. Edington Mazambani said:
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These visits to various IPPs across the country are part of continuous regulatory assessment of progress being made at various sites, their performance, compliance levels to codes and stakeholder engagements.
Mr. Mazambani added that funding for the projects varies due to a number of factors including each IPP’s technological needs, source of equipment, and fuel, among others.
The power to be generated will be added to the national grid.
ZERA has since 2010 licensed 91 IPPs countrywide with 67 of them at various stages of project preparation while eight IPPs’ licences were revoked after their projects took long to take off following issuance of licences.
Mazambani said five of the licensed IPPs were under construction while 19 were operational, producing a congregated output of 134.77MW.
Zimbabwe’s demand for electricity hovers around 2 200MW but because of antiquated equipment, generation by the country’s power utility, Zesa, is depressed at around half of the demand.
As part of efforts to boost electricity generation, Zesa through its subsidiary is also undertaking US$1.5 billion expansion works of Units 7 and 8 at Hwange Thermal Power Station.
Zimbabwe also hopes to generate more electricity from the 2400MW Batoka Gorge Hydro-Electric Scheme project whose output will be shared equally with Zambia.
At the peak of the Southern African country’s power issues between 2019 and 2020, some regions of the country would go for about 18 hours without electricity.
The situation is slowly getting back to normality.