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Zimbabwe in new electricity import deals

$300 MILLION REGIONAL POWER POOL ON CARDS

Zimbabwe in new electricity import deals

Zimbabwe is negotiating for new power supply deals with Zambia and Mozambique, which could see the country importing additional 280 megawatts from the two countries, Energy and Power Development Minister Zhemu Soda has said.

Zimbabwe has in the past few months seen a drop in electricity output largely due to frequent breakdowns at Hwange Power Station, resulting in daily power cuts.

The southern African country is currently importing 50 MW from Mozambique and also has a firm supply agreement of 100 MW with Eskom of South Africa.

However, due to generation challenges at Eskom, the supplies have been intermittent.

“Zambia has indicated that they have a surplus of 100 MW from the Kafue Gorge, which they can sell to us and a delegation from ZESA went to Zambia on Monday for the negotiations,” said Minister Soda in an interview yesterday.

“Mozambique also told us that they have additional 180 MW over and above what we are currently importing and these new two deals will give us additional 280 MW. That should help us to reduce the deficit of between 200 and 300 MW.”

Zimbabwe is looking to achieve electricity self-sufficiency mid next year when unit seven of Hwange thermal power plant is expected to come on stream, the Minister said.

Zimbabwe is adding two units at the Hwange plant with capacity of 300 MW each with first unit expected to be commissioned in July and the second in September 2022.

Last week, Solgas, a private investor, started feeding 5MW from its solar plant in the Matabeleland North Province onto the national grid. ZZEE, a Chinese investor is also expected to start feeding 25 MW from its thermal power station in Hwange in the next few weeks while the Harava Solar Park in Seke is expected to be switched on before end of this year, with initial production capacity of 6MW.

“The coming on stream of the new small power projects will help us to stabilize internal power supplies in the near future but our major breakthrough would be in July next year when we commission the first unit at Hwange,” said Minister Soda.

Zimbabwe is targeting to add more than 2 000MW to the national grid mostly from renewable and cleaner sources including solar, wind and other sources by 2030.

The country is also offering significant incentives in a bid to woo investors and these include five-year tax breaks for IPP projects, duty free import of equipment and designation of large projects as key national projects.

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