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Zimbabwe's dormant IPP licences to be revoked

by Staff reporter
09 Dec 2022 at 05:09hrs | Views
Licences of independent power producers (IPPs) who have failed to provide electricity under their agreement with the State are being re-examined by the regulator and could be revoked, legislators have heard.

Energy and Power Development Deputy Minister Magna Mudyiwa said the country could have been getting more than 2 000 megawatts from IPPs if these had moved forward, compared to a paltry 15MW at the moment.

Responding to questions in the Senate yesterday, Deputy Minister Mudyiwa said most IPPs applied for licences without funding, only to start running around after they secured the licences.

Government has since asked the Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority to review the licences.

"There were IPPs with no money and they started looking for money when they got the licences. If all IPPs had solar plants as what they had claimed when they applied for licences, we could have over 2 000MW coming from IPPs onto the grid," said Deputy Minister Mudyiwa.

"We have told ZERA to relook at the licences they issued. Some were holding on to licences for more than five years. Others are using the electricity they generate for their own consumption and not directing any to the national grid."

Legislators said some IPP licence holders were holding on to the certificates for speculative purposes.

It was felt that there was no due diligence in interrogating the applications which resulted in undeserving persons getting licences.

Asked why there were prolonged loadshedding hours in the past two weeks, Deputy Minister Mudyiwa said Government was taking all necessary steps to improve power supply.

Commissioning of the Hwange power expansion project had taken longer to complete than expected owing to the Covid-19 induced national lockdown that affected both Zimbabwe and China.

Imports of equipment from China early this year faced some bottlenecks owing to the national lockdown in China.

Some legislators asked why Government wanted to introduce pre-paid meters on commercial farms when it knew that farmers were paid after harvesting and selling their produce. They said the introduction of pre-paid meters for farmers would undermine national objectives because farmers would fail to pay for electricity before harvesting.

Deputy Minister Mudyiwa said while Government understood the plight of farmers, some of them were not honouring their financial obligations to Zesa after being paid for their produce.

Source - The Herald