Essar Africa To End Zim’s Electricity Woes

According to a notice by the Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority (ZERA), the proposed electricity generation station by EAHL will be situated in the Sinamatela area, about 2kilometres from the Hwange airstrip.

EAHL is a subsidiary of subsidiary of the Indian based Essar Group that snatched 60 percent shareholding in the ailing Zimbabwe Iron and Steel Company (ZISCO) that amounts to 53 percent stake-in a partnership deal that seeks to revive operations at the steel company.

“Notice is hereby given that the ZERA has received an application from Essar Africa Holdings Limited (EAHL) to construct, own, operate and maintain a 600 MW generation station for the purpose of generation and supply of electricity in Zimbabwe.

“This is in terms of the provisions of the Electricity Act (Chapter 13; 19) of 2002 section 40 as read with statutory instrument 103 of 2008 (Electricity Licensing Regulations),” a notice by the ZERA reads in part.

The application comes at a time when the country’s power utility is scouting for international investors to fund a US$1.3 billion expansion programme meant to end the country’s worsening electricity shortages.

ZESA is generating only up to 1200 megawatts against daily demand of between 1900 and 2200 MW.

Energy problems caused by ZESA’s failure to generate enough electricity are among the key challenges said to be holding back the country’s economic recovery.

Since the turn of the new millennium, the country has struggled with intensifying blackouts of up to 18 hours a day.

The power cuts have plunged many factories and homes into darkness, as demand outstrips supply.′

Various high energy consuming industries have been forced to invest in expensive alternatives such as generators.