HomeBusinessGovt seeks US$135m to ease power cuts

Govt seeks US$135m to ease power cuts

GOVERNMENT is seeking about US$135 million from two African financial institutions to deal with the current electricity shortage that has resulted in increased power rationing throughout the country.

The state has approached the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) and the African Development Bank (AfDB) seeking US$132 million in loans to help Zesa Holdings deal with the debilitating power shortages by increasing local electricity generation.

DBSA promised to loan US$81, while AfDB pledged US$51 million.

Sources in government said there was panic in government over the constant power outages that have enormously disrupted business operations.

The country is experiencing the power load shedding after five of the six electricity generators at Hwange Thermal Power Station packed up a fortnight ago.

Zesa chief executive officer Ben Rafemoyo, speaking in Durban where he is attending the African Utility Week meeting, confirmed that the country was close to clinching deals with the two financial institutions.
“We’re quite busy entertaining potential investors from all over. The AfDB and DBSA funding is a sign that other investments will start flowing in,” Rafemoyo said.

Government needs close to US$1 billion to rectify problems affecting the Hwange power station, while a further US$3 billion would be required to construct new Hwange power stations.

Zesa has so far managed to fix one unit and was battling to have the other four back on rail.  
Rafemoyo however said the power utility would be able to bring all the units back into operation by the end of March.

Zimbabwe is currently facing a power deficit of 1 500 MW due to the faults at Hwange while the country’s three other thermal power stations at Bulawayo, Munyati and Harare are not producing any electricity at all.

The country is relying on 750 MW produced at the Kariba Hydro Plant, which is producing at full capacity. The other sources of electricity are imports from Mozambique, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and South Africa.

 

Loughty Dube

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