Nearly 30 power generation projects with a combined capacity of more than 5 000 megawatts (MW) have stalled in Zimbabwe due to lack of funding.
Due to power shortages in the country, the Government opened the power sector to private investors. Consequently a number of independent power producers (IPPS) were licensed. This was inorder to complement the country’s integrated power generation and distribution company, ZESA holdings.
However according to Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority (ZERA) chief executive officer, Gloria Magombo, majority of the approved power projects had not materialized. She says that some have been licensed for over a decade.
Power generation licenses
According to Madam Gloria they have issued out power generation licenses to more than 30 players with a combined capacity to generate 5039 MW. However due to heavy capital outlays, very few have taken off the ground. She also says that thermal power projects were to generate a total of 419465 MW.
The Zimbabwe Stock Exchange listed resources firm, RioZim Limited was granted a license to construct a power station to generate 2 000MW at Sengwa Over 10 years ago. However the proposal, has since been altered to 750MW. Due to funding constraints it is highly unlikely that RioZim will build the proposed power station soon .
Inorder to expand the Hwange Power Station by two units to add 600MW to the national grid the Government secured US $1,174bn from the Export Import Bank of China. However the government and ZESA are still to meet some conditions before accessing promised funding from the Chinese bank.
Only Kariba Hydro Power expansion project of all the proposed major projects, has taken off. Furthermore the project, is now over 90% complete and will add 300MW project to the national grid. The first unit to add 150MW to the national grid is expected to be commissioned in December.