Zimbabwe’s power import bill has accumulated to 19 million U.S. dollars since 2013 when the country cleared its 100 million dollar debt to regional power utilities.


Zimbabwe faces perennial power shortages due to aging infrastructure and relies on regional power imports to plug the shortfall.

It is currently producing half of its power requirements of 2,200 megawatts.

Permanent secretary in the Ministry of Energy and Power Development Patson Mbiriri said Tuesday that the country’s power import bill had risen to 19 million dollars over the past two years.

“At some point the bill stood at 100 million dollars but it’s now down to 19 million dollars and we must make that account current in terms of what we owe them so that whenever we have challenges, we can implore on them (regional power utilities) to avail more power,” Mbiriri was quoted as saying by state-run News agency New Ziana.
The 100 million power debt was accumulated during the decade of economic decline which ended in 2009 when the country adopted the multiple currency regime.

The unity government of 2009-2013 prioritized clearance of the debt after regional power utilities threatened to stop exporting power to Zimbabwe.

Mbiriri raised concern that power imports for the country had become unreliable because its neighbors were also facing power shortages.

“There is very little scope for importing and on a regular day we are assured of imports in the order of 50MW from Cabora Bassa (Mozambique). Elsewhere it’s very difficult to import because they are equally short of power,” he said.

According to Mbiriri, Zimbabwe’s power deficit ranges between 200MW and 400MW forcing the country to sometimes resort to power rationing.

Government is currently expanding the second largest power plant, Kariba Power Station by 300MW with the assistance of a Chinese loan. Completion of the project is earmarked for 2017.

Several projects to boost power supplies are also planned including expanding the biggest power plant, Hwange Thermal Power Station by 600MW. Enditem

Source: Xinhua


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