The Dema Diesel Power Plant, which was born out of a partnership between government and Sakunda Holdings might not be the best alternative source of emergency electricity considering the expensive electricity the company produces.
A parliamentary portfolio committee on Energy and Power Development’s tour of the Dema Power plant revealed that ZESA was actually being overcharged by Dema Diesel Power Plant whose rates actually surpass those of importing electricity from regional countries.
By Deputy Editor
Dema Deisel Power Plant Operating Officer Mberikwazvo Chitambo hinted that Electricity generated at the power plant costs US15, 45c per kilowatt hour (kWh) while at Kariba it is US4, 11c/kWh and at Hwange it is US6, 97c/kWh. O n the other hand, Zesa imports electricity at even cheaper prices from Mozambique, Zambia and South Africa than what Sakunda is charging it.
This price disparity according to experts would lead to a scenario whereby consumers would have to bear the brunt of paying 18,6c per KWh.
“Forcing ZESA to buy electricity from this plant was uncalled for considering that the electricity we get form other countries like Mozambique is actually cheaper than that from Dema.
“It doesn’t make business sense, why buy electricity from a local power company at an exorbitant price when you can get electricity at cheaper rate from foreign suppliers. The consumers are the ones who suffer here, we need to really dig into the details of this deal, we feel there is more to it than meets the eye,” said Mutseyami.
The Diesel power plant consumes at least 400 000 litres of diesel in a day against a 100 Mega Watt electricity hourly output it feeds directly into the ZESA grid.
“In a day we require not less than 300 000 litres of diesel to power the generators, to be precise we require 400 000 litres of fuel to power our generators.
“We have 225 generators in here and then another three outside to make them 228 generators that all run on diesel,” said Chitambo.
The company through a special import license has been exempted from paying duty on all its fuel imports and brings in not less than 25 million litres diesel duty free.
The power plant which is an emergency plant runs for 16 hours in a day.