Zim looks to Mozambique for electricity trade offs

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Sinikiwe Marodza

Harare - Zimbabwe’s Minister of Energy and Power Development Minister Advocate Fortune Chasi is hoping to engage Mozambique for electricity trade-offs to curb the electricity shortages Zimbabwe is currently facing.

Zimbabwe and most of the countries within the SADC region are facing a serious challenge in terms of generating enough electricity to meet their demands due to a number of reasons, which include the unexpected breakdown of the power generators at the Eskom plant in South Africa, the El-Nino induced drought that led the Zambezi River Authority to reduce water supply for Zimbabwe and Zambia’s hydro electricity generation.

According to the Southern African Power Pool statistics, almost nine countries within the SADC region are going through a serious electricity supply deficit, and Mozambique is among the few countries that are managing to produce surplus electricity to trade with other countries from within the region.

While addressing stakeholders from the Zimbabwean power utilities last week, Chasi pointed out that Zimbabwe is exploring numerous options to curb the electricity shortages and amongst them is the electricity trade-off with Mozambique.

“We are looking into a number of options to deal with the electricity shortages issue in our country.

“We are working closely with the power utility to ensure that there is an increased power generation from different sources other than the Kariba power station.

“We are also looking at electricity trade-offs with Mozambique,” he said.

The trade-off proposition also seeks to leverage on abundant water in the Cahora Bassa Basin following Cyclone Idai, amid fears that the continued discharge of large volumes of water during generation at Kariba South and North power stations was causing flooding.

 “We need to understand the source of the problem that our counterparts in Mozambique are facing as a result of Cyclone Idai on the generation side of electricity,” said Minister Chasi.

Meanwhile, Southern African Power Pool (SAPP) co-ordination centre manager, Stephen Dihwa, also added that Mozambique was the country that could save most countries in the region when it comes to the issue of electricity tradeoffs.

“Mozambique, in the meantime, is one of the countries (if not the only one), that is managing to produce surplus electricity to put on our SAPP market for other countries to buy and use.

“Mozambique’s Cahora Bassa and Electricidade De Moçambique (EDM) power utility are doing well in terms of electricity generation. 

“EDM is generating a lot of electricity from gas, and it can manage to supply electricity not only to Zimbabwe but other countries like Zambia can also look up to Mozambique, while countries like Namibia that have signed bilateral agreements to be supplied power by South Africa, can still buy the little available power from South Africa through the SAPP markets but mostly during the night,” Dihwa said.

 

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