Zesa lim­its Dema power to 100MW

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Business Chronicle - Golden Sibanda

THE Zim­babwe Elec­tric­ity Trans­mis­sion and Distri­bu­tion Com­pany will not pur­chase more elec­tric­ity from the Dema diesel power plant be­yond 100 megawatts to min­imise the im­pact of the tar­iff on the cost of the en­ergy mix.

The tar­iff for the Dema plant is blended with cost of power from other lo­cal power plants and price of im­ported power to get an av­er­age price. The pro­ject is be­ing spear­headed by lo­cal firm Sakunda Hold­ings.

ZETDC chief ex­ec­u­tive En­gi­neer Ju­lian Chinem­biri said the com­pany signed a power pur­chase agree­ment for the sup­ply of 100 megawatts, as they do not have fi­nan­cial ca­pac­ity to ab­sorb the full out­put of 200MW from the Dema plant.

The pro­ject is an ini­tia­tive to ame­lio­rate acute power short­age in the short-term. Zim­babwe is ex­pected to gen­er­ate sur­plus power by 2018, when new projects cur­rently un­der­way start feed­ing the grid.

Eng Chinem­biri said the other out­put from the diesel pow­ered power plant can be sold to other con­sumers in the re­gion.

“We are get­ting 100MW (from Dema), as per the power pur­chase agree­ment. We have no plans to pur­chase more elec­tric­ity from the plant as we will not be able to af­ford it,” Eng Chinem­biri said in an in­ter­view.

ZETDC, the trans­mis­sion and distri­bu­tion unit of power util­ity, Zesa Hold­ings, is buy­ing power from the Dema diesel power plant at 15,45/KWh. Its pur­chas­ing power has been fur­ther con­strained by the re­fusal by en­ergy reg­u­la­tor, ZERA, to award a 49 per­cent tar­iff in­crease.

The Zim­babwe En­ergy Reg­u­la­tory Au­thor­ity de­clined the pro­posal for the tar­iff hike on grounds that it had con­sid­ered the pre­vail­ing eco­nomic sit­u­a­tion and ef­forts by Govern­ment to ex­pand gen­er­a­tion ca­pac­ity.

The Zim­babwe Power Com­pany, the gen­er­a­tion unit of Zesa, pro­duces power at Kariba at 4,11c/kWh, while that from Hwange ther­mal Sta­tion costs 6,97c/kWh, mak­ing ex­pan­sion projects cheaper.

It is against this back­ground that the Dema pro­ject was mooted as an emer­gency power al­ter­na­tive to al­low Govern­ment, through Zesa, to com­plete the ca­pac­ity ex­ten­sion of projects at Kariba South and Hwange.

The ex­pan­sion, de­signed to re­solve the coun­try’s de­bil­i­tat­ing power deficit, will bring an ad­di­tional 900MW to the na­tional power grid. Zim­babwe re­quires 1 400MW against in­ter­nal gen­er­a­tion ca­pac­ity of 1 000MW.

The ex­ist­ing de­mand gap is cur­rently be­ing met through im­ports from Mozam­bique (Ca­horra Basa), Zam­bia (Lusem­fwa) and South Africa (Eskom).

Zesa had re­quested per­mis­sion to in­crease the elec­tric­ity tar­iff from the cur­rent av­er­age rate of 9,83c/KWh to 14,69c/KWh to be able to gen­er­ate enough rev­enue to meet op­er­a­tional and cap­i­tal pro­ject needs.

The Bulawayo City Coun­cil re­cently com­mis­sioned ser­viced pre-sale stands in Ma­hat­shula, South­wold, Barham Green, North End and Rose­lyn sub­urbs. In the pic­ture, act­ing Mayor Clr Si­las Chig­ora washes his hands from a tap in Ma­hat­shula sub­urb to mark the com­mis­sion­ing. (Pic­ture by Eliah Saushoma)

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