Mozambique’s publicly owned electricity company, EDM, has agreed to sell 50 megawatts of power to Zimbabwe.
A memorandum of understanding to this effect was signed in Maputo on Thursday between EDM chairperson Ali Sicola, and his counterpart in the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA), Patrick Chivaura. The sale of EDM power to ZESA will begin in October.
Sicola told the signing ceremony that the 50 megawatts from EDM will help minimise Zimbabwe’s energy deficit, which currently stands at 400 megawatts.
Electricity is in such short supply in Zimbabwe that even the capital, Harare, has been suffering 18 hour long power cuts.
Sicola said that the sales to ZESA will earn EDM four million US dollars a month. Currently, EDM cannot sell more than 50 megawatts, but the two companies will look for additional sources of power. New solar power stations are coming on stream in Mozambique and Sicola thought 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.
A second agreement regularised an existing sales contract that had expired in 2017 – leaving a debt of nine million dollars. ZESA has agreed to pay three million dollars this month, and then liquidate the rest of the debt in weekly payments of 250,000 dollars.
This arrangement is separate from the 50 megawatts that ZESA has been buying from Hidroelectrica de Cahora Bassa, the company that operates the Cahora Bassa dam on the Zambezi.