Bloomberg News

Zimbabwe Power Demand to Rise 29% in 2012, Supply Authority Says

January 03, 2012

Jan. 3 (Bloomberg) -- Zimbabwe’s electricity demand is projected to increase 29 percent this year, boosted by the mining industry, the state power utility said.

Demand rose 6.2 percent last year from 2010, Fullard Gwasira, a spokesman for the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority, said by phone today from the capital, Harare.

Zesa generates 900 megawatts to 1,200 megawatts compared with demand of 1,900 to 2,200 megawatts. The country imports 35 percent of its electricity from Mozambique and Democratic Republic of Congo, yet fails to meet demand, resulting in almost daily power cuts. Zimbabwe is the third-largest power consumer in sub-Saharan Africa after South Africa and Nigeria, according to the World Bank.

The country’s economy is estimated to expand 9.4 percent in 2012, led by growth in the finance and mining industries, Finance Minister Tendai Biti said on Nov. 24. The economy was forecast to grow 9.3 percent in 2011, with mining output climbing 26 percent as the nation attempts to recover from a decade-long recession that ended in 2009, Biti said.

Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution, a unit of Zesa, said power demand by mines in the nation’s northern region is expected to advance 22 percent in 2012.

“Developments in the mining sector include Maranatha Ferrochrome at 13 megavolt amperes, Mazoe gold mine at 5.5 megavolt amperes and RioZim Ltd. at 5 megavolt amperes,” Harare-based ZETDC said in a report handed to Bloomberg News.

Industry, Agriculture Demand

Maranatha is a closely held company. Mazoe is owned by South Africa’s Metallon Corp. while RioZim was once controlled by Rio Tinto Plc.

Demand by the industrial sector is forecast to rise 55 percent while farms will raise demand by 33 percent, ZETDC said.

In the nation’s southern region, the Mimosa mine, owned by Aquarius Platinum Ltd. and Impala Platinum Ltd., plans to start using 15 megavolt amperes, while the Wel mine, owned by Chinese investors, will need 5 megavolt amperes, ZETDC said. Sino- Zimbabwe Ltd. of China is planning an additional 6 megavolt amperes.

--With assistance from Brian Latham in Johannesburg. Editors: Ana Monteiro, Randall Hackley

To contact the reporter on this story: Godfrey Marawanyika in Johannesburg at gmarawanyika@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Antony Sguazzin at asguazzin@bloomberg.net -0- Jan/03/2012 11:16 GMT


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