Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

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Zimbabwe power imports at risk

Zimbabwe power imports at risk

HARARE, ZIMBABWE – Feb 13 2012 18:14

Zimbabwe’s energy minister warned on Monday that the country risks losing 
electricity imports from its major supplier if it fails to pay a $90-million 
debt to Mozambique’s Hydro Cabora Bassa dam.

“That is one debt that we have got to service because if we do not service 
it our major source of power will go away,” Elton Mangoma told a committee 
of lawmakers.

Mangoma said the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA) has piled up 
almost a billion dollars in unpaid electricity imports, unserviced loans and 
outstanding contributions to a joint power project with neighbour Zambia.

“At this stage with the cash flows of ZESA there is no possibility of 
re-paying them. We are not planning in the short-term to have them repaid 
but that treasury when they are looking at their debt management will be 
able to look at that.”

He said ZESA owes about $800-million of old loans, and $94-million in 
electricity imports including about $90-million to Hydro Cabora Bassa, the 
Mozambican hydroelectric dam that is its main supplier. It also owes 
$70-million to Zambia.

Zimbabwe needs about 2 200 megawatts of electricity at peak but generates 
just 1 300 megawatts, importing the remainder.

Mangoma said is owed ZESA $400-million in unpaid electricity bills by 
consumers and announced plans to cut off defaulters.

ZESA plans to introduce pre-paid meters to improve its revenue and avoid 
resorting to charges based on estimates.

Last year ZESA announced it would hand out more than 5.5-million 
power-saving fluorescent light bulbs to households across the country to 
curb consumption.


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