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Zimbabwe's ZPC struggles to procure new equipment

by Staff reporter
30 May 2024 at 08:35hrs | Views
Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) management highlighted the ongoing challenge of insufficient funds for procuring spare parts and equipment to maintain aging machinery, impacting energy sufficiency. During a recent visit by the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Mines and Energy to Hwange Power Station, ZPC's general manager, Engineer Shepherd Mukundu, cited difficulties in acquiring new equipment due to high costs from manufacturers, especially for proprietary equipment protected by patents.

While exploring alternatives such as tapping into the Asian market, Eng Mukundu emphasized the inherent need for original manufacturers due to compatibility issues with the power station's equipment. Despite efforts to find cost-effective solutions, reliance on proprietary equipment remains a financial burden for ZPC.

Financial constraints were further underscored by the company's revenue collection, which falls short of servicing debts and operational costs. To meet power demand, ZPC imports a significant portion of its electricity, incurring substantial monthly expenditures. Zimbabwe's power pool faces a deficit, with installed capacity insufficient to meet peak demand.

To alleviate procurement challenges, the government suspended duty on power equipment and critical spares imported by Zesa Holdings subsidiaries. This measure aims to mitigate infrastructure vandalism and theft, which have exacerbated equipment shortages and operational inefficiencies. The duty suspension, outlined in Statutory Instrument 93 of 2024, is expected to ease financial burdens on ZPC and its affiliates.

During discussions with MPs, ZPC management assured adherence to tender guidelines and contractual safeguards to prevent financial losses. Eng Mukundu highlighted regulatory oversight and contractual provisions aimed at ensuring transparency and accountability in procurement processes, essential for safeguarding the company's interests amidst budgetary constraints and operational challenges.

Source - The Herald
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