Zimbabwe faces electricity disaster – nehanda radio

Regional power suppliers could switch off Zimbabwe after the country’s integrated power utility, ZESA Holdings, failed to meet prepayment arrangements for power imports, the Financial Gazette reports. Electricity physics test File picture of residents demonstrating against power utility ZESA

The Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company (ZETDC), a subsidiary of ZESA, has defaulted on payments for power supplies from Eskom of South Africa and Hydro Cahora Bassa of Mozambique.

It has also failed to pay for power supplies from a sister firm, the Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) and the Dema Diesel Power Plant, which was constructed by private players recently to plug a generation gap in the country.

The Financial Gazette is reliably informed that ZESA owes the four suppliers about US$734 million. Of this amount, US$715 million is reportedly owed to the ZPC and Dema Diesel Power Plant, whose establishment was a subject of contention between government and ZESA.

Mozambique’s Hydro Cahora Bassa, which is owed US$10 million, has already reduced by half its supplies to Zimbabwe, from the 100 megawatts (MW) to 50 MW.

South Africa’s Eskom, which is owed US$8,8 million, told the Financial Gazette this week that it would demand that Zimbabwe adheres to a prepayment arrangement to guarantee electricity supplies to the country.

Eskom’s spokesperson, Khulu Phasiwe, said: “The arrangement with Zimbabwe’s ZETDC will continue to be on prepayment. Gas oil ratio for leaf blower That’s the nature of the contract. Electricity 1 unit how many watts If ZETDC are having problems paying in advance for electricity from us then they will have to wait until they have money for it.”

Phasiwe added: “We are not targeting Zimbabwe only. Static electricity jokes We do the same with all our customers within the Southern African Power Pool. Gas used in ww1 Even with all our clients here in South Africa, we are migrating to pre-payment arrangements. A shell gas station near me We have found that after we supply electricity, some clients would come to us and say we didn’t order.”

“Power supply is seriously compromised at the moment,” said Chinembiri, adding: “About US$734 million is outstanding for power purchases. Gas vs electric stove top This may lead to failure to procure power leading to load shedding. Electricity quiz grade 9 ZPC is owed a lot of money, threatening (local) generation.

“Eskom, HCB and Dema require upfront payment. Electricity usage calculator south africa But their accounts are now in huge arrears hence threatening to disconnect us,” Chinembiri said.

He said last year alone, the ZETDC reduced supplies to the market by more than 1 813 gigawatts hours (GWh), and this potentially prejudiced industry and commerce business worth more than US$5,2 billion.

“The situation is bad because (power suppliers) are calling us everyday threatening to cut us off if we don’t clear our arrears. Gas chamber It has been clearly demonstrated that ZETDC is in an extremely precarious situation arising from a sub-economic tariff. Up electricity bill payment online It has now become difficult for us to be able to pay since our proposal for a tariff increase was rejected by government.

“The decline of a tariff (increase) to ZETDC has dire consequences on the company’s performance and its ability to anchor the economic recovery to be realised from the Zim-Asset strategy,” Chinembiri said.

Energy and Power Development Minister, Samuel Undenge, is under increasing pressure to keep the country’s power sector relevant to Zim-Asset — a government economic blueprint called Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio-Economic Transformation.

Owing to low generation capacity, largely due to low water levels at Kariba Dam, which supplies water for power generation at Kariba Hydro Power Station, and inefficiencies at the power utility’s four thermal power stations across the country, Zimbabwe turned to regional power utilities to augment poor production.

In December last year, the Zambezi River Authority, responsible for the management of water in the Zambezi River basin from which both Zimbabwe and Zambia draw their water for hydroelectricity, was forced to cut water allocation for electricity generation from 33 billion cubic metres per annum to 10 billion cubic metres due to dwindling water supplies. Electricity and magnetism purcell pdf This meant that ZPC was restricted to generating 285MW at Kariba South Power Station.

According to generation statistics obtained this week from ZPC’s website, Kariba South Power Station was generating about 285MW, while Hwange Power Station was producing about 375MW of electricity.

Small thermal power stations in Harare and Munyati were generating a combined 33MW. Electricity manipulation Bulawayo Power Station was not generating anything due to breakdowns.

To cover for the deficit, the country has been importing about 350 megawatts (MW) from Eskom and 100MW from HCB. It has also been procuring 100MW from the controversial diesel generators at Dema Power Plant.

These power utilities agreed to support Zimbabwe to keep its lights on, but on condition that ZETDC pays for the electricity on a pre-paid basis.

For the past 10 months this has been working out well as the country has not had any load-shedding since December 2015 because ZESA was able to pay upfront for the electricity imports.

ZETDC has argued that the current tariff of US$0,0986 per kilowatt hour (kWh) is not cost reflective and for several years now government has been rejecting proposals for a tariff increase.

ZETDC this year applied to increase the tariff to US$0,1469 per kWh to cover for increased costs of procuring emergency power from Dema, HCB and Eskom. Jokes gas prices But the request was turned down.

The power utility’s actual costs have been higher than the approved tariff, resulting in ZETDC suffering a cumulative loss of US$517 million between 2009 and 2015 due to the low tariff.

The loss emanated from the fact that between 2009 and 2010, government allowed ZETDC to sell electricity to consumers at US$0,0753 kWh on average while the actual costs were hovering between US$0,0933 and US$0,0965 kWh.

The ZETDC boss said this year a projected loss of US$189 million would be incurred due to the low tariff, adding that the power utility would “soon be forced into a difficult decision of switching off the lights”.

The mining sector owes ZETDC US$52 million, while industry owes more than US$210 million. Gas laws definition chemistry Commercial consumers owe the most at US$436 million.

Domestic consumers and farmers have an obligation to pay more than US$294 million and US$84 million respectively. This debt, Chinembiri said, would ultimately affect the country’s ability to pay for power imports.

In light of this, ZETDC might defer its planned maintenance, a situation which is likely to result in increased forced outages and increased response time to faults. Gas density calculator Network expansion and rehabilitation projects may be halted. Electricity el paso apartments Lack of network refurbishment may lead to frequent breakdowns and high fault incidences.

About US$20 million is currently required to replace faulty transformers and maintain other critical spares and consumables. But there is growing fear that ZETDC might fail to maintain its infrastructure due to squeezed finances.