HomeBusiness DigestPower licences: 4 in race

Power licences: 4 in race

Conrad Dube

FOUR private players have applied to the Zimbabwe Electricity Regulatory Commission (Zerc) for licences to develop power generation plants in the country.

dana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif”>Zerc was set up to create and preserve efficient industry structures for the provision of electricity power. It also seeks to promote competition and private sector participation in the power generation sector.

The regulatory commission has invited applications for the generation of electricity as the initial stage of demonopolising the electricity industry.

Commissioner general Mavis Chidzonga said this week Zimbabwe had a deficit of 240MW on total demand of about 2 070MW.

The country produces 1 330MW, with Hwange Power station producing 550MW, Kariba 730MW while small thermal stations account for the remaining 50MW. About 500MW is imported from Mozambique and South Africa.

Chidzonga did not disclose the identities of the applicants, citing client confidentiality.

The commission is looking for other options to increase power generating capacity and is encouraging small-scale hydro-electricity generators to reduce the current electricity shortfall.

“New players have shown interest in greenfield investments and they want to bring in a different type of technology from the existing one that can enhance electricity generation,” said Chidzonga.

Among some of the conditions demanded in the application is the technical capacity of the applicants.

The commission is also looking at the availability of resources such as financial and primary energy sources.

The executive commissioner responsible for technical and economic regulation, Gloria Magombo, said the commission would eliminate briefcase companies through a rigorous vetting exercise.

“We will eliminate speculators because this has to do with the security of the nation. We do not want a situation where new players destabilise existing systems and infrastructure due to use of non-compliant equipment,” Magombo added.

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