Copperbelt Energy might invest in Zimbabwe

Copperbelt Energy Corp., a supplier of electricity to Zambian mines, is considering investing in neighboring Zimbabwe, where an official said independent producers are needed to help get new projects off the ground.

Copperbelt may provide power to the state-owned Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority, or Zesa, which would supply mines and consumers in Zimbabwe, Michael Tarney, managing director of the Lusaka-based company, said at a conference today in Harare.

“We are at the early stages of looking into moving into Zimbabwe,” Tarney said. “We also have an interest in reviving Zesa’s defunct thermal power stations in Munyati and Harare, as well as helping out at Hwange.”

Demand for electricity in Zimbabwe is 2,200 megawatts, compared with production of 1,200 megawatts and imports of as much as 300 megawatts from southern African countries, according to Zesa. There has been no investment in power supply in Zimbabwe for the past 20 years, Patrick Chivaura, business development manager at Zesa, said at the conference today.

“Zesa and the government do not have the financial capacity to invest in new projects, so independent producers are needed,” Chivaura said.


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