Zimbabwe's power generation to increase

Zimbabwe's power generation to increase
Published: 31 October 2013
Zimbabwe's overall power generation is forecast to increase by an annual average of 6.9 percent between 2013 and 2022, to reach 15.2 Terawatt hours (TWh).

The biggest contributor being coal fired power generation, which is to increase by an annual average of 10.2 percent over this period as the Hwange thermal power station is expanded, partly funded by Namibia's government said Business Monitor Intelligence (BMI).

In their revised quarterly power report, BMI forecasts that Hydropower generation is due to grow by 3.1 percent per annum, partially due to increased capacity planned for Kariba South hydroelectric plant. Plans for the Batoka Gorge project scheduled for completion by 2020 may raise the forecast.

The BMI 10-year forecast sees Zimbabwe's net power consumption to be increasing by an annual average of 4.9 percent, from 12.71TWh in 2013 to 20.35TWh by end-2022.

Underlying the rise in energy consumption will be a steady increase in GDP, together with the continued expansion of Zimbabwe's population.

There have been developments in the power sector that will drive this forecast.The developments include the Chinese bank agreeing to finance the Hwange Thermal Power Station expansion and the Namabian government plans to fund the thermal power station. Another development around Hwange is the proposal by the British investor Mr Nicholas van Hoogstraten to inject US$50 million which may also see the high rise in power generation.

However this proposal comes with great reservations on the condition that the investor has set of having exclusive control for 5 years.

Granting a private foreign player exclusive monopolistic rights of a national resource will mean that the state will have limited authority and control in the dealings of the business and in terms of resource allocation there will likely to be inefficiency in terms of human welfare as the player will have the liberty of not covering any social costs.

Therefore there is need to critically review the proposal and if possible negotiate terms to give a balance to the contract and preserve the national interest and at the same time grow the economy through boosted power generation.

Another development that occurred during the second quarter of the year was the Zimbabwe Power Company biding for a construction contract for a 100MW solar power plant in Zvishavane. This also will see the increase in power through the solar plant.

Taking a regional comparison the report concluded that Zimbabwe has the potential to have a relatively stable power market, with electricity generating capacity spread across many sources of power: coal and oil-fired power stations, as well as hydroelectricity.

However, years of underinvestment landed the country's power stations to their outdated and unreliable position, meaning power outages are still a regular occurrence.

Although, Sinohydro was awarded a contract to expand the Kariba South hydroelectric power plant and the China Machinery Engineering Company have been awarded the contract to expand Hwange power station. It will still take several years for these power plants to generate the much needed electricity but the move should be viewed as a successful step.
- herald
Tags: Electricity,


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