Zimbabwe Set to Pay Eskom US 10 Million This Week

  • Zimbabwe will settle US 10 million of its outstanding bill to South African power utility Eskom this week, according to Zimbabwean Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube.
  • Zimbabwe relies on Eskom and Mozambique’s Hidroeléctrica de Cahora Bassa (HCB) which operates the Cahora Bassa hydropower for excess power.   

The decision to pay follows Zimbabwe’s state power company, ZESA meeting with Eskom earlier this month over a total debt outstanding of around US 33 million (R480 million). Eskom reduced power exports to Zimbabwe from 450MW to just 50MW pending payment. Zimbabwe has not paid Eskom for power imports since October 2018.

The Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission & Distribution Company (ZETDC) implemented a wide scale load shedding last month plunging the country into darkness. They have been forced to cut power generation at their Kariba Dam power plant due to low water levels. The dam, on the border of Zimbabwe and Zambia, is only 34% full and cannot generate electricity at optimal capacity. The utility is also facing generation constraints at Hwange Power Station

Zimbabwe’s head of Energy and Power Development, Minister Fortune Chasi  also recently fired the entire ZESA Board Friday amid the load shedding crisis the country faces. Read more

The Minister also recently announced that he is contemplating cancelling over 30 Independent Power Producer contracts because the projects have never materialised. Read more

Author: Bryan Groenendaal

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