INDUSTRIALISTS want the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority to lower tariffs by 44 percent to US7c per kilowatt hour to ensure viability.
They are currently levied US9c/kWh.
Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries president Mr Sifelani Jabangwe told The Sunday Mail Business last week that, “We are looking at a tariff of US5c to US7c/kWh because in some countries there is a lower tariff given to industry than the one that would be paid by general consumers. This is so because they (manufacturers) are adding value.”
In its 2017 second-quarter report released on August 1, the CZI said: “On electricity, CZI is fully aware of the call by Zesa for upward review of tariffs, (but) most members have consistently asked CZI to push for a downward review of tariffs.
“CZI has cultivated strong relations with Zesa and Zera and this has facilitated constant consultations on these and other issues to do with energy. CZI will remain engaged and continue to advise members of any developments as well as get feedback from members on this issue.”
Local power tariffs making Zimabbwean products uncompetitive in regional markets.
The average electricity tariff is US9,86c/kWh when domestic consumers are included. The manufacturing sector gets power at US9c/kWh, while gold miners are billed US12c/kWh.
Comparatively, the average tariff for industry in South Africa is US2,7c, US2,3c in Zambia, US3,3c in Botswana, and US4,4c in Mozambique.
While gold miners in Zimbabwe are comfortable with a reduction to US8c, chrome miners — who are buying electricity at US8c — want it slashed down to US3c.
However, Zesa wants the Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority to in fact up tariffs to US14,64c.
Zimbabwe imports 300MW and 50MW daily from Eskom of South Africa and Mozambique’s Hidroelectrica de Cahora Bassa respectively.
Zesa owes the two a combined US$53 million.
Comparatively high fuel prices also hurt the competitiveness of Zimbabwe’s exports.
While petrol prices marginally retreated to an average of US$1,31 per litre recently following the rise in blending levels from 10 percent to 20 percent, they still remain the highest in Sadc.
In Malawi, for example, petrol sells for about US$1,14 per litre.
CZI is also advocating for a shift from diesel 500 to diesel 50, which is being adopted across the continent. Nine countries have already phased out diesel 500, which is becoming unpopular for its high carbon emissions compared to diesel 50, which has low sulphur content.
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