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ZESA edges closer to sealing power deals.

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ZESA Holdings is edging closer to sealing power deals that could see Zimbabwe importing 250 megawatts (MW) from Mozambique and Zambia power utilities.

ZESA officials were in Mozambique last week to finalise the terms of the agreement with Electricidade de Moçambique (EDM) to supply Zimbabwe with an additional 150MW. Currently, Zimbabwe is accessing 50MW from EDM.

The power utility also finalised a deal with ZESCO of Zambia to supply 100MW from its Kafue Power Station.

However, ZESA should first meet a tough condition precedent. It has to pre-pay US$6.3m a month to access 100MW from ZESCO. Zimbabwe is also importing 50MW from Hydro Cahora Bassa of Mozambique and up to 200MW from Eskom of South Africa.

The development was confirmed by Gift Ndhlovu, the commercial services manager of the Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company, a unit of ZESA Holdings.

Ndhlovu said: “In the short to medium term, we are in discussions with EDM of Mozambique. In fact, we were in Mozambique last week where we were concluding a deal to get an additional 150MW from Mozambique. We are still hopeful that should our banks be able to clear the conditions precedent; we should be able to start unlocking that capacity from next week going forward.

“We have also concluded discussions with ZESCO of Zambia. You may be aware that ZESCO has just commissioned the Lower Kafue power station and they have promised us that we could exploit 100MW from that power station if we are able to then make the prepayments that they require.”

He added: “We have a condition precedent that we need to be paying at least US$6.3m every month to then start utilising the 100MW facility.”

Ndlovu said ZESA has since submitted the necessary paperwork needed for funding to the Reserve bank of Zimbabwe to facilitate the payment of the required funds.

Zimbabwe is battling power shortages with ZESA generating between 1 030MW and 1650MW against a peak demand of 1 800MW.

The low production is largely due to aging coal-fired generators that keep breaking down. To cover for the shortfall, ZESA imports from regional power utilities.

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