KenGen

In Zimbabwe, state-owned power utility Zesa, through its subsidiary Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company (ZETDC), has applied for a tariff increase of 14,6c/kWh. The tariff hike is said to help finance electricity imports that have been deployed to mitigate power shortages and expand generation capacity in the country.

However, in April, a power tariff increase of $11,2c/kWh was approved by the Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority (ZERA) from the current $9,83c/kWh, and now only awaits for the Cabinet’s permission to be effective.

Ministers reviewing application

According to a source known to The Herald, an inter-ministerial committee, comprising of Energy and Power Development, Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development, Industry and Commerce as well as the Information Communication Technology, Postal and Courier Services is studying the application.

“We have an inter-ministerial taskforce that is studying what has been brought by ZERA through the Ministry of Energy and Power Development to ensure that there is a win-win situation to both the power utility and the consumers.

“The truth of the matter is that ZERA, after conducting their stakeholder consultations, made a determination to peg the price at 11,2c/kWh. An inter-ministerial committee, senior officials from about four ministries, are meeting with members of the Office of the President and Cabinet to look at this development and they agreed on that figure,” the anonymous source revealed to The Herald.

The unnamed source continued explaining that once the ministers reach an agreement, they will then take that decision to Cabinet for endorsement.

“In essence the 11,2c/kWh is waiting for Cabinet approval only. ZERA had promised to come back with a determination two weeks after their consultations in January, but now it is more than four months. The reason being that they had to find a win-win situation,” the source added.

ZETDC foresee load shedding

Commenting on the development, ZETDC managing director Julian Chinembiri, said: “They (ZERA) recently wrote to us saying they will soon give us a tariff and we are still waiting.”

“On our part, if we do not get that tariff it means our operations will be affected heavily. The cost of the power, which we are now importing, is high and we also need money to meet maintenance costs. Failure to do so will see us returning to the load shedding era because all our imports, which are significantly contributing to the current stability in power supplies, are prepaid.”

Chinembiri added: “Without a tariff, we won’t be able to pay in advance. In short, we are channelling most of our revenue to power imports at the moment and we have put a number of things on hold.”