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ZETDC in equipment renewal

THE Zimbabwe Electricity and Distribution Company (ZETDC) is finalising the awarding of new contracts for the supply of aluminium conductors to improve infrastructure that may affect power supplies.

Companies and consumers have been hard hit by power shortages in recent months due to obsolete equipment at Hwange Power Station where units are constantly breaking down.

ZETDC acting general manager Lloyd Jaji told a recent virtual discussion organised by the National Consumer Rights Association in Bulawayo that new suppliers will be selected soon to supply some of the much needed electricity components.

“The copper we recover will be given to the supplier who will have won the tender.

Like I said, copper is more valuable than aluminium, so for the same size of conductor, we get more aluminium in exchange for the copper of the same size,” Jaji said.

“In that way we hope that we will be able to sponsor and cover the spaces created by the vandals.

Unfortunately, it will not be able to come in time as we expect but that is how we proposed to fill in that gap.”

Jaji said there were two things in the issue of power infrastructure rehabilitation, one being the supply of aluminium.

“So the supply of aluminium is an issue.

We want to stand by that process in terms of supply.

The tender has been adjudicated; there are just next contract negotiations in place,” he said.

“In procurement, we follow the Procurement Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (PRAZ) regulations which set our limits on what we can procure.

Those limits were very small but we have applied for a waiver which will allow us to do big contracts because previously we would go to tender every two or three weeks.

That was cumbersome,” he said.

He said the waiver will enable them to have a single contract for the recovery of all the copper in Bulawayo district and another one for all the copper in Bulawayo West district.

Bulawayo consumers are complaining over intermittent power outages most of them caused by copper cable thefts with the power utility blamed for failure to secure the infrastructure from the criminals.

Zesa has recently revealed that it needs at least US$17 million a month to import power, and keep lights on amid rolling electricity outages lasting several hours.

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