Thursday, July 21, 2011

Zimbabwe Close to Meeting Electricity Demands

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Frost & Sullivan is confident that Zimbabwe, despite its energy and economic woes, is progressing towards meeting its required increases in electricity generating capacity. Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA) called for “expressions of interest” to find financiers and contractors for the planned $1.3 billion expansion of two existing power plants.

The country currently has an available capacity of 1,400 MW, including about 300 MW of electricity imports. “An increase in electricity generating capacity of 900 MW by 2013 will bring total available capacity to within 300 MW of projected demand.” explains Frost & Sullivan’s EPS Industry Analyst Vincent Maposa. The analyst added that it would be interesting to see how ZESA’s expansion of the Hwange and Kariba Power Stations will affect plans for private sector participation in power generation. It is possible that the government of Zimbabwe has concluded that large scale privately owned power plants will not be constructed in the short-to-medium term, due to a wide variety of constraints, and has decided to increase ZESA’s capacity,” Maposa said.

Under the current system in Zimbabwe regarding pricing and regulatory environment, private sector penetration into the electricity generation market has been unfeasible. Maposa said that pricing wasn’t the only hurdle that the southern African country had to overcome. “The establishment of an Independent Systems and Markets Operator (ISMO), and legislative and regulatory amendments, are some of the basic fundamentals that need to be addressed in order to allow privately owned power generators to engage with development of large power plants.”
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