State of the Energy Sector in Zimbabwe- full ministerial statement


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As a result Mr. Speaker, it is necessary that we carry out a review from a corporate governance point of view of each and every parastatal that is under the ambit of the Ministry to examine whether we have adequate and proper skills within the board, and also skills within management of the parastatals. The country’s vision in this area is to achieve universal access to sustainable and modern energy in Zimbabwe by 2030. The mission is to ensure the provision of adequate and sustainable energy supply through formulating effective policies and regulatory framework. For those who may care to know, these are the pieces of legislation that are relevant to the sector which I would urge those with an interest to be familiar with – the Electricity Act, the Energy Regulatory Authority Act, the Rural Electrification Fund Act, Zambezi River Authority Act and the Petroleum Act.

I also want to take this opportunity to inform Hon. Members of the various policies and plans that are in place in this particular area. We have got the National Energy Policy Act of 2012; the Independent Power Producers Policy which is actually under development;  National Integration Energy Resource Plan which we have commenced work on; Rural Energy Master Plan also under development; National Renewal Energy Policy which we intend to launch in the not too distant future; then the National Bio Fuels Policy which we also intend to launch in due course.

Performance of the Power Sector – I want to make reference to current electricity supply status; the situation of electricity in the country.  I want to draw the attention of the Members here present that the situation is dire and that as a nation, we must be strategic in our planning for energy and also its use.  The electricity sector is currently dominated by State owned power generating transmission and distribution companies; Zimbabwe Power Company and Zimbabwe Electricity, Transmission and Distribution Company. ZPC has a total of five power stations in operation.  I have attached a table there so that when this is circulated, Members will be able to see but these are basically Kariba Power Station, Hwange Power Station, Harare, Munyati and Bulawayo Small thermals. All in all, when fully operational, this gives us 2 260 mega watts.

Mr. Speaker Sir, the hydrological condition of Kariba Dam has been the subject of discussion of late.  As of last week the dam was 32%, and as of Monday, it had dropped to 29%.  So, we can all do the mathematics involved in that to show and understand the problem at hand in terms of reduction of water levels at Kariba.  If that trend continues at that pace, this means that in theory, within 14 weeks, Kariba will not be able to deliver power.        This means that those who were responsible at ZESA in particular, ought to have understood the magnitude of this problem and taken steps to plan for it in accordance with the issues at hand.  I will speak to that later on.

I now move to Independent Power Producers – 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.  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 IPP’s.

If I move on to actual electricity demand and supply profile and 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 1200 mw.  The country’s maximum demand is estimated at 1 700 mw giving a supply demand gap of about 300 to 500 mw at maximum which is usually met by importing from ESKOM and Kabora Basa of Mozambique.

Continued next page

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Charles Rukuni
The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.

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