Last year, Zimbabwe was denied power imports by Eskom after failing to service a US$80 million debt. Mozambique’s Hydro Cahora Bassa (HCB) also suspended supplies to Zimbabwe over a US$45 million debt.
Zimbabwe has fully paid its debt to South African power utility, Eskom, after paying the regional power company US$890 000 this week, paving way for fresh power import negotiations.
The government negotiated for payment plans to clear the debt owed to the two regional power companies. Energy and Power Development Minister Advocate Fortune Chasi tweeted: “Hard to believe, but Eskom has in fact, now been paid off.
“Eskom was paid the last US$890 000 for imports. This means Zesa can now negotiate for additional supplies if available. Attention now turns to HCB.”
Zimbabwe is relying on electricity imports to cover the deficit due to subdued generation capacity at its power stations owing to a number of factors, including low water levels and lack of periodic refurbishment of thermal power stations.
The country, which needs 1 400MW in summer and 1 600MW in winter, has in recent years been generating electricity using antiquated machinery, leading to constant breakdowns.
The government has since embarked on plant refurbishment at some of the power stations and has completed extension works at Kariba Hydropower Station, while similar work is underway at Hwange Thermal Power Station.
Source – The Herald
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