Zesa seeks low import tariff

Zesa lines

Zesa lines

Business Reporter

Zesa Holdings negotiations with EDM of Mozambique have taken longer than expected as the power utility seeks to secure a tariff that is not onerous to its finances.Secretary for Energy, Partison Mbiriri said the power utility will be guided by what obtains in the region in terms of the tariff rate although it has emerged EDM had bargained for a tariff of about 15c kWh.

“Negotiations are still going on, there is no outcome yet on what the tariff will be. Without knowledge on what the tariff will be, it will be onerous for a tariff of that magnitude to be carried by consumers, so negotiations are continuing. Rates of between 13c and 15c are a little on the high side,” he said.

“About 40MW is what we expect to get from EDM; there is no outcome yet,” he added.

Zimbabwe has resorted to importing power from the region to bridge its deficit, with current generation at about 1 000MW against peak period demand of 2 200MW.

“Normally, we are guided by what obtains within the region, as such any tariff in the region of 13c/kWh would be a bit on the high side,” Mr Mbiriri said yesterday.

The discussion for imports from Mozambique come at a time when Zesa has submitted proposals to Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority for a tariff hike.

ZERA chief executive Engineer Gloria Magombo told this newspaper last week that consultation was now at Government level and a decision is due this month.

The national power utility approached the regulator seeking a 49 percent tariff increase, which would take the new rate to around 15,4c/kWh from about 9,86/kWh.

Zesa has previously indicated that it is seeking an economic tariff to be able to maintain consistent and sufficient supply of power, including augmenting with imports.

The new tariff awaited from ZERA will also determine whether the national power utility can also continue getting power, 300MW, from Eskom of South Africa.

The power utility might have to depend significantly on imports until a series of Government-led and private sector projects are completed, at least in the next three years.

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