The Sunday Mail
The Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority (Zera) says it is going to be tough on Independent Power Producers (IPPs) who are failing to achieve set milestones.
The energy regulator said it will withdraw licences for IPPs that have failed to come up with quarterly reports on their milestones.
Some of the IPPs are accused of holding onto the licences for speculative purposes.
On Thursday, Zera chief executive Engineer Gloria Magombo said the regulator will be tough on those lagging behind.“Yes we are going to be tough on IPPs that are not moving in line with set milestones.
“We continuously check on the progress as there is a requirement to check on projects all the time.
“When an IPP is given a licence, certain milestones such as bankability and feasibility studies, among other things, are put on the table. They are then supposed to give quarterly updates on the progress,” said Engineer Magombo.
Last year, the energy regulator withdrew five licences from IPPs that had failed to come up with integrated energy resource plans. By the end of 2016, 23 IPPs had been licenced, including small hydro and biomass power generation.
Other IPPs already operational have been contributing power to the national grid.
Hippo Valley and Triangle have a generating capacity of 33MW and 45MW respectively. Other small IPPs that are operational include Border Timbers Duru, Nyamingura, Pungwe A and Green Fuel.
The contribution of IPPs to the national grid is currently minimal and is expected to increase when big power generation expansion projects come into stream in 2018. Zimbabwe, which has five power stations, produces half of its peak demand of 2,200MW but the power utility Zesa is undertaking projects to increase capacity at Hwange Thermal and Kariba South Hydro.
Hwange has installed capacity of 920MW but produces only 500MW due to the antiquated machinery.
There are plans underway to increase generation by a further 600MW.
Kariba, with installed capacity of 750MW, will have an additional two 150MW units by 2017.
Other independent power generation projects like Lusulu (500MW) have since brokered funding deals with construction expected to commence this year.