Tuesday, 31 March 2020

GOVT CLEARS ESKOM DEBT


GOVERNMENT has fully paid its debt to South Africa’s power utility, Eskom, after paying the regional power company the last US$890 000 this week paving way for fresh power imports negotiations.

Last year Zimbabwe was denied power imports after failing to service a US$80 million debt to Eskom while Mozambique’s, Hydro Cahora Bassa (HCB) also suspended supplies to Zesa, the country’s power utility over a US$45 million debt. The Government then negotiated for payment plans to clear the debt owed to the two regional power companies.

Posting on his Twitter handle yesterday, Energy and Power Development Minister Advocate Fortune Chasi said: “Hard to believe but Eskom has in fact, now been paid off. Eskom was paid the last US$890 000 for imports during this week. This means Zesa can now negotiate for additional supplies if available.  Attention now turns to HCB.”
  
Zimbabwe is relying on electricity imports to cover the deficit due to subdued generation capacity at its power stations owing to a number of factors.

The country, which needs 1 400MW in summer and 1 600MW in winter has in recent years been generating electricity using antiquated machinery, leading to constant breakdowns at its power plants.

The Government has since embarked on plant refurbishment at some of the power stations and has completed extension works at Kariba Hydropower Station while similar work is underway at Hwange Thermal Power Station.  Chronicle

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