Outages Intensify in Zimbabwe as they Fail to Pay Upfront for Imports

  • Outages will be intensified through September 16 because of “depressed generation on the grid,” the Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company (ZETDC) said in a statement on Wednesday.

The outages follow Zimbabwe’s Energy and Power Development Minister, Soda Zhemu’s, populist announcement in late August that it had sealed a new power import deal with Zambia plus retained other power import deals with Mozambique and South Africa.

All three contracts were facing termination as the nation struggled to meet payments obligations to the three nations.

Last month, Zimbabwe signed a five-year contract to import 100 megawatts of power a day from Zambia and the deal could not be consummated as Zambia was demanding payment upfront. Giving an update to the media on the current power situation Friday, Zhemu said the deals had been paid for, and parties were expected to meet their sides of the bargain.

“With regards to the power import deal which was struck between our power utility and ZESCO of Zambia; this is a new deal, and it was supposed to fall off if ZESA had not paid by the end of July,” Zhemu said.

“So ZESA managed to pay, and this is a prepaid facility where ZESA has been able to pay the US$6.4million that was required, and we started receiving electricity from Zambia by the 1st of August and we think this will continue going forward. All other facilities are still on, we have a facility with EDM of Mozambique, HCB as well as ESCOM are still on and we will continue to get electricity,” concluded Zhemu.

Author: Bryan Groenendaal

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