Felex Share, Senior Reporter
Zimbabwe will import 100 MW from Mozambique at more than 15 cents per kilowatt hour and there is need for stakeholders to accept an electricity tariff increase if load shedding is to be minimised, Zesa Holdings said yesterday.
To finance power imports and emergency power projects, Zesa has proposed to push electricity charges to 14,64c/kWh up from 9, 86c/kWh.
Stakeholders, chief among them industrialists, miners and farmers, have shot down the proposal arguing it would push up production costs.
Zimbabwe has been enjoying an improved power supply situation in the past few weeks mainly because of power imports.
South Africa’s Eskom has been selling 300 MW to Zimbabwe since last month and the country is on the verge of clinching another 100 MW deal with Mozambique.
Energy and Power Development Minister Samuel Undenge will lead Zesa officials to Mozambique on Friday to finalise the deal.
The power utility’s officials were in Mozambique last week.
Zesa spokesperson Fullard Gwasira said the power imports were not coming at a cheap price.
“It’s important to say that the power will be imported at 15.5c/kWh,” he said.
“This is against a backdrop of the tariff of 9.86c kWh. We are negotiating with Electricidad de Mocambique (EDM) for 100MW of imports to augment local generation to minimise the effects of load shedding.
“The negotiations are part of the emergency power supply intervention strategies to source more electricity to fill the void that has been caused by the declining water levels at Lake Kariba that have resulted in suppressed generation at Kariba Power station, from 750MW to 275MW.”
The average electricity cost in the Southern African region is 14c/kWh.
Zimbabwe yesterday was generating 1, 276 MW locally against a forecast demand of 1, 375 MW.
Stakeholders are resisting a tariff increase but Minister Undenge has indicated that there is no going back on a tariff increase because Zesa has to urgently finance required power generating projects.
Among projects expected to ease the power crisis is the 200 MW emergency power plant to be installed at Dema Substation in the next seven weeks.
Sakunda Holdings won the contract.
Gwasira said contract negotiations were underway ahead of the installation of the diesel plant in the next few weeks.