Power supply not guaranteed: Govt

Minister Mavhaire

Minister Mavhaire

Tendai Mugabe and Daniel Kachere
Energy and Power Development Minister Dzikamai Mavhaire says he cannot guarantee the nation of adequate power supplies to ensure successful implementation of Zim-Asset, especially in terms of the economic blueprint’s value addition and beneficiation clusters.
Minister Mavhaire said major projects like Batoka Hydro Power Plant on the Zambezi River and expansion of Hwange Power Station would only be complete well after the Zim-Asset target in 2018.

Addressing students taking Joint Command and Staff Course Number 27 at Zimbabwe Staff College in Harare yesterday, Minister Mavhaire said   “Zim-Asset is not the end of Zimbabwe”.

He was presenting a paper on the prospects and challenges towards developing energy capacity to meet the demands of the Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio-Economic Transformation.

“Is the nation going to have adequate power to implement programmes under the Zim-Asset?” he asked.

“I cannot answer this question with a resounding yes, as I will not be truthful to you. What I can say is the situation will have drastically improved by 2018.

“Staff officers, Zim-Asset is not the end of Zimbabwe, there will be life after Zim-Asset. We have already started planning for the period after Zim-Asset, with plans at an

advanced stage for the construction of Batoka Hydro Plant on the Zambezi River and expansion of Hwange Power Station.”

Zim-Asset, which is the Government’s economic blueprint guiding its policies from 2013 to 2018 identified energy as an enabler for achieving maximum output expected from beneficiation of the country’s resources.

Minister Mavhaire raised a cocktail of challenges which he said contributed to power outages over recent months.

“I want you to go out and explain to your relatives and friends that the major causes of what we are experiencing is because power projects are capital intensive, with even a small power generating plant requiring several hundred million dollars,” he said.

“Local funding is inadequate — we have to look for external loans. People are not paying their dues and sanctions led to non-procurement of critical spare parts.”

Minister Mavhaire also blamed vandalism of infrastructure and brain drain as contributory to erratic power supplies.

He said Zimbabwe was experiencing power shortages despite its vast resources that could be used to improve the situation.

Minister Mavhaire said the country had 12 billion tonnes of coal reserves and vast reserves of methane gas, capable of being used to generate electricity.

He said the country’s thermal power stations were operating below capacity because of illegal Western sanctions imposed on the country a decade ago.

Minister Mavhaire urged people to use renewable sources of energy such as solar power, while Government and experts explored wind turbine technology possibilities.

In the meantime, Minister Mavhaire said his ministry was instituting measures to improve electricity generation, such as licensing independent power producers.

Minister Mavhaire said Government was expanding two units at Kariba Power Station, with the first one expected to be commissioned in 2017.

When complete, Minister Mavhaire said, this would feed an additional 300 megawatts into the national grid.

He said they were also negotiating for more electricity imports depending on availability in the region.

Turning to fossil fuels, Minister Mavhaire said the state of the pipeline linking Beira in Mozambique and Msasa in Harare posed a major threat to uninterrupted supplies.

In this regard, he said, it was important to have a second pipeline.

When asked if he had voiced his concerns to Zanu-PF’s Politburo or Cabinet before Zim-Asset was adopted, Minister Mavhaire directed The Herald to make a written request for an interview through his   secretary.

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  • incompetency at peak

    how can a person like a minister talk about brain drain when ZESA the CEO has surpressed salary increases for the same workers in the last two years and the same minister runs the company at the expense of workers. All these projects have been on the cards for years. its a talkshow as usual and very little action.

  • Progressive Zimbabwean

    Deal with the issue of ethanol blending bleeding our economy and our individual pockets.

  • Patrick Muzhona

    “”He said the country’s thermal power stations were operating below capacity because of illegal Western sanctions imposed on the country a decade ago.”"
    Can you explain how ian Smith managed to keep lights on despite a war and sanctions?Let us be patriotic enough to look ourselves in the mirror and move on. Which spare parts could Zimbabwe not buy?How come in the same sanctions period millions have been spent on new top-of-the range vehicles for ministers and top officials?What is our priority Comrade?
    We just need to be modest, drive simple cars to really show that we care:the nation will be behind us and we shall move forward with or without sanctions. This is what the “racists” did. There was no corruption then. Even the Rhodesian Broadcasting Corporation was paying its workers. Let us move from this circus and refocus our energies towards building this beautiful country

    • cheqmayt

      taurai zvenyu Mkoma Petriki!

      • dlamini

        dokupusa kwa ko patrick nacheqmayt. Nyaya yethermal power stations operating below capacity ayina kukonzerwa nema illegal western sanctions. Makungoti Minister akatawura moopoza. Time ya smith vako tete kumusha vakanga vasinga shandise magetsi. Majority zhinji ye mutown vashoma vayishandisa magetsi. iyezvino tawanda vanoshandisa.

        • Duelooker

          Watopedza so, mheno vakaoma musoro vasinganzwe

  • JZ

    Electricity can be guaranteed by looking at the cost of alternative power sources. For example is using coal cheaper than using gas or importing gas from Mozambique . Bulawayo can get its supply from Hwange power station, Masvingo can benefit from green fuel, Mutare can import electricity from Mozambique or have a gas power station using vast gas reserves from Mozambique . The problem would be where can Harare get supplementary power besides Kariba or coal power stations. Gas: Coal: Nuclear: Wind: Hydroelectric: Bio-Energy. Imports: Oil

  • JZ

    No country has a complete energy policy, still countries deal with existing challenges while drafting energy supply transformation policies. France relies on nuclear energy but is scaling down on nuclear by introducing wind power and other sources. Germany has coal power stations but its introducing more effecient clean coal technologies. Gas is another option for some countries. The challenge of electricity supply is not a policy or project issue only, it is a matter of research as well, research by universities and power supply institutions on energy sources and effecient use of energy by consumers.

    For example cooking oil can be recycled and used to generate electricity. We havent been aggresive enough in researching or adopting renewable energy sources like Biomass, Wind Energy and Geothermal.

    Considering that supply won’t change much in near short term policy needs to address effecient distribution of what is there. For example it could be wise to have increased microgeneration capacity for each city depending on nearby resources. Like Bulawayo can resly more on a mix of solar power and effecient coal fueled power stations. While Mutare can rely on Biomass, Green Fuel and Gas from Mozambique. Agricultural policy would help by promoting use of idle land for bio fuel crops. Harare could boost its power supply through local power generation in form of Coal, Wind Farms, Solar and Biofuels.In smaller towns ethanol powered generators would provide a short term back up to power cuts.

    Power supply is a multistakeholder issue, covering infrastructure financing, renewable energy project financing, effecient coal technology partnership with countries like Germany, and university based energy sources research.
    For example is there opportunity to pump water back into a Kariba reservior dam during low demand night time so extra water stored at night can be used to increase generation capacity at peak demand during morning or midday. These are all matters of research and trying out new ideas not just administration or policy.

  • Ndere

    This is not news to us , I think this article should have been written 10 years ago

  • shutupclown

    Hey Minister, tell us something we DONT already know. this is not news. if you have nothing new to say then shut up please. get a job too while you are at it!