IPPs boost electricity supply

Zimbabwe has begun benefiting from electricity supplied by independent power producers (IPPs) with at least 125MW being channelled at any given time to the national power grid.The Sunday Mail has gathered that at least 11 of the 31 registered IPPs are feeding excess electricity from their operations towards the Zesa grid.

The Zimbabwe Electricity Regulatory Authority is finalising modalities with other IPPs so that they add another 175MW to the grid. Hippo Valley; Triangle; Border Timbers; Chisumbanje; Nyamingura; Duru; Pungwe A, B and C; Hauna and Kupinga powers stations have been feeding excess electricity to the national grid since the end of 2016.

In an interview, Zera CEO Engineer Gloria Magombo said, “Of the 31 licensed IPPs, 11 are generating electricity. Among them four generate mainly for their own use and the other seven mini-hydro power stations are generating and feeding into the national grid based on power purchases agreements with ZETDC. The 11 producers are supplying a total of 125,72 MW.”

Eng Magombo said there was need to develop an integrated energy resource plan and a competitive procurement framework for IPPs to attract investments.

Green Fuel at Chisumbanje Ethanol Plant produces 18,3MW and supplies at least 5MW to the national grid, while Hippo Valley is contributing 4-6MW when it has excess.

A small hydro plant in Honde Valley Estates produces at least 24MW which is mainly used in the area while excess is fed to the national grid.

By 2022, Zimbabwe expects to generate at least 5 000MW on the back of various electricity projects which are currently underway in line with Zim-Asset Infrastructure and Utilities goals.

Some of the projects include expansion of Kariba South Hydro, which is now 70 percent complete, and rehabilitation of Hwange Thermal Power Station’s 7 and 8, which is nearing financial closure.

Zimbabwe presently has capacity to generate about 1 200MW against peak national demand of 2 200MW, with the balance imported from South Africa and Mozambique.

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