State-run Mozambique power utility, Electricidade de Mocambique (EDM), has agreed to sell 50 megawatts of power to Zimbabwe as of next month.
The deal was formalized on Thursday, 12 September 2019, in the capital Maputo between EDM chairperson, Ali Sicola, and his Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA) counterpart, Patrick Chivaura
Sicola told the signing ceremony that the 50 megawatts from EDM will help minimise Zimbabwe’s energy deficit, which currently stands at 400 megawatts.
Zimbabwe has endured 18-hour daily power cuts since May 2019 as a result of a prolonged drought that has reduced output at its largest hydro plant and aging coal-fired generators that keep breaking down.
Foreign power companies also stopped supplying Zimbabwe with electricity in 2017 after the country failed to pay its bills, although Zimbabwe resumed limited imports of 300 MW a month late last month.
Zimbabwe owes more than 70 million dollars to South Africa’s Eskom and Hydro Cahora Bassa of Mozambique for past power supplies.
According to Sicola, the sales to ZESA will earn EDM four million dollars a month. Currently, EDM cannot sell more than 50 megawatts, but the two companies will look for additional sources of power such as new solar power stations which are coming on stream in Mozambique and these could provide EDM with a surplus that can be exported.
The sales contract between EDM and ZESA will be valid for two years renewable – but renewing it will depend on Zimbabwe’s needs and its capacity to pay.
EDM will rent to ZESA the line used to transmit the power: this is the line from Songo in the western Mozambican province of Tete to Bindura in northern Zimbabwe.