Zimbabwe power debt down

2012-07-12 22:16

Harare - Energy-starved Zimbabwe has cut its debt to power providers to under US$20m from around $100m in a bid to resume imports after major regional suppliers cut it off, the energy minister said on Thursday.

"We have currently made strides to pay the debt we owed and our total debt has now been reduced to below $20m from nearly a $100m," Energy Minister Elton Mangoma told parliament.

He said talks have begun with neighbours Mozambique and Zambia to get "a little bit more" electricity after reducing the debt.

In recent months, Zimbabwe could only afford to import 25MW from neighbouring countries after major electricity suppliers in the region cut off supplies for non-payment.

Zimbabwe needs about 2 200MW of electricity at peak consumption but generates just below 1 300MW.

"Zimbabwe used to import as much as 500MW from SNEL in DRC, EDM and HCB in Mozambique and ZESCO in Zambia," he said adding the average quantity had came down to 100MW.

"Because we were not paying, even that 100MW has been reduced to 25MW."

Mangoma said the country is working on refurbishing its northern Kariba hydro-power station and the Hwange thermal power station in the west of the country to boost generation capacity.

The minister said earlier this year that the power utility Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA) is owed $400m in unpaid electricity bills by consumers.

Authorities also increased energy charges last year by 31% to 9.83 cents per kilowatt hour.

  • ndlovu.bhekinkosi - 2012-07-13 02:17

    such bills shud be cleared first if we want free and fair elections

  • simon.sinimoni - 2012-07-13 06:43

    ...and the S.Africans say Zimbabwe gets power for free from ESKOM.That paltry 25MW actualy from Mozambique and Eskom only uses the Zim powergrid to import or export power through Zim and that is also extremely rare

  • millionwatts1 - 2012-07-13 08:22

    The positive vibes from Zimbabwe are increasing. Way to go.

  • georgem.ndlovu - 2012-09-07 00:30

    always promising would do but as ling as Mgabe goes for medical check ups overseas Zimbabweans would always be in the dark l wounder whats the diamonds sales bring and who benefit?

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