Legislators grill Independent Power Producers

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ZTN Reporter

Legislators on Wednesday grilled Independent Power Producers (IPPs) for failing to begin electricity generation into the national grid several years after some obtained licences to generate power.

The Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Energy and Power Development, said the current power shortages being experienced in the country could have been averted had the IPPs undertaken electricity generation seriously.

The portfolio committee’s acting chair, Elias Musakwa said it was time the IPPs stopped complaining about petty issues and became productive.

“The problem is you are baby seating on the projects years after you got the greenlight to commence power generation. How many more years do you need to start producing a single megawatt of electricity?” he asked.

Three companies had appeared before the committee, namely Harava Solar Park, Great Zimbabwe Hydro and Nyangani Renewable energy.

However, on their part the companies cited shortage of foreign currency as the main obstacle.

Harava Solar Park was incorporated in 2017 as a special purpose vehicle to build and maintain a 20 megawatt power station with the intention of selling power to the national grid and received generation licence from the Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority, (Zera) in 2018.

Harava Chief Executive Officer Ainos Ngadya said the project was initially targeted to be commissioned in 2019 but this failed due to foreign currency shortage.

He said if they get US$ 9 million by January 2020 they will commission the plant and feed into the Dema grid by April.

Great Zimbabwe Hydro Power Company was licenced in 2010 and has completed feasibility studies on the power plant at Lake Mutirikwi.

The plant is expected to augment power supply in Zimbabwe, as it is envisaged to produce at least five megawatts into the national grid.

The company’s co-founder Mrs Memory Mashingaidze said they are facing financial problems and initially there was no clarity on who owns the site of their project.

Nyangani Renewable Energy Hydro-Electric was incorporated in 2017 and is located in Nyangani, eastern Zimbabwe which has perennial rivers suitable for power generation.