Cahora Bassa Dam in Mozambique. The dam provides power to sections of neighboring Zimbabwe., a photo by Pan-African News Wire File Photos on Flickr.
Maputo threatens to switch off Zim
Monday, 06 February 2012 00:00
Reprinted From the Zimbabwe Herald
MOZAMBIQUE has threatened to cut off power supply to Zimbabwe over a US$5 million debt.
Hydro Cahora Basa supplies Zimbabwe with about 500 megawatts to cover shortfalls.
Zesa Holdings has capacity to generate between 900 megawatts and 1200 megawatts against a growing national demand of 1900 to 2200 megawatts.
To cover the shortfall, the company has been importing electricity from Mozambique and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
However, due to the shortage of capital, Zesa has had problems in repaying debts to the companies.
Local firms that were benefiting from the power imports confirmed that the Mozambican power utility had threatened to cut off supplies over the debt.
Zimbabwe's second largest platinum producer, Mimosa, said it was now working to ensure the supplies continue.
Mimosa clinched a deal with Zesa and Hwange Colliery for continuous power supply to its mines in Zvishavane.
"HCB has threatened to cut off supply to Zesa for non-payment and discussions are currently ongoing between the local power utility HCB and Mimosa management in order to arrive at a solution to this situation," the company said.
It noted that erratic power cuts have adversely affected production at the mine.
"Second quarter production performance was adversely affected by power outages as well as surface electrical breakdowns."
Mimosa also indicated that production decreased 4 percent to 577 932 tonnes last year.
Zesa spokesman Mr Fullard Gwasira, although non-committal on the debt, said demand for power was increasing and they were in the process of finding ways of boosting power generation.
"Zesa Holdings, through its subsidiary companies the Zimbabwe Power Company and the Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company, are pursuing various projects and measures to boost the electricity supply situation in Zimbabwe to achieve security of power supply," he said.
Power usage in Zimbabwe is expected to grow by 29 percent this year in tandem with the steady growth in industrial capa-city.
Government estimates that the economy will grow by more than nine percent, buoyed by industrial capacity that is projected to reach around 60 percent by year end. - CAJ News.