The Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company (ZETDC) is receiving 136 megawatts from Independent Power Producers (IPPs), Energy and Power Development Minister Fortune Chasi has revealed. The country’s energy regulator, the Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority (ZERA), has licenced numerous IPPs, but only a handful have been fully implemented.
Minister Chasi in his State of the Energy Sector presentation in Parliament last week said the energy that is being received by ZETDC from IPPs is largely excess supply from companies that generate electricity for their own use.
“A number of IPP’s also generate electricity to feed on to the national grid. These include sugar and ethanol producers that primarily generate for own use and sell excess to ZETDC,” said the minister.
“They include Hippo Valley, Triangle and Green Fuels. These sugar producers are also net importers of electricity. Their installed capacities are shown in the diagram that I have here, but all in all, it is about 136 mega-watts arising from IPPs.”
Notwithstanding the smaller IPPs, ZERA has also licenced two major projects in this respect include the 2 400MW Sengwa thermal power station under the RioZim banner at a projected value of US$3,6 billion according to estimates by the company as well as the proposed 2 000MW Lusulu thermal power plant which will be developed at the projected cost of around US$3 billion.
Earlier this year, Government said it had identified a consultant to start works on the Independent Power Producers (IPPs) Framework aimed at promoting investment in the energy sector and also introduce the concept of competitive bidding when procuring renewable energy, particularly solar and wind.
The IPP framework will assist independent power producers to establish their projects without much hassle, as well as safeguard their interests.
Full implementation of these IPP projects could see Zimbabwe producing excess energy.
Currently, the country is struggling to meet demand of around 2 000MW, as current production is just about 1 200MW, which has necessitated load-shedding.
Minister Chasi said the current state of the electricity sector could have consequences on the broader economy: “I think this is very important for us to understand the implications of what is happening and what may happen in future regarding power and then the overall impact on our economy.
“Zimbabwe’s current average internal electricity generation is about 1200MW. The country’s maxim demand is estimated at 1 700MW giving a supply demand gap of about 300 to 500MW at maximum which is usually met by exporting from Eskom and Cahora Basa of Mozambique.”–herald.co.zw