bh24 19 january 2016

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  • BH24 Reporters

    HARARE -Industry and farmers have rejected the proposed 49 percent elec-tricity hike by Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company (ZETDC ), saying the power company should improve efficiencies.

    In a joint press statement by Confedera-tion of Zimbabwe Industries, Zimbabwe Farmers Union, Zimbabwe Commercial Farmers Union, Commercial Farmers Union and the Chamber of Mines of Zimbabwe, industry said the ZETDC should dispense with its banking halls and reduce headcount in various depart-ments.

    "Significant cost reduction can be realised within the utility itself. With prepayment system now supposedly working , bank-ing halls can be dispensed of. Head-office overhead can be significantly reduced.

    "Taking depreciation and return on assets (ROA) out of the revenue required, we find that payroll costs are 32 percent at ZPC (Zimbabwe Power Company) and 20 percent at ZETDC which we believe should be reduced like what is happening in all other sectors of the economy," said industry. Industry has also called for a review of the electricity tariff determina-tion model. "How relevant is the current model of tariff determination in the cur-rent circumstance of the Zimbabwean economy?"

    In an earlier study, University of Zim-babwe economics lecturer Dr Takaw-ira Mumvuma posited that the power authoritys current pricing model has been rendered unworkable in terms of ensuring future infrastructure refur-bishment by the extensive debts owed to it by consumers. This limited finan-cial capacity has resulted in the power authority failing to institute significant

    levels of infrastructure refurbishment and upgrades at its power stations.

    The national power utility is currently able to provide around half of Zimba-bwe's 2 200 megawatt (MW) electricity requirement. It is currently dependent on imports from the region insofar as the thermal plant at Hwange is using ageing equipment, while the Kariba hydro-power plant is facing a water shortage challenge. The business community dismissed the proposed 49 percent elec-tricity tariff hike, saying both firms and individuals are currently struggling to pay the present tariff as evidenced by the high debt levels.

    Various consumers owe the ZETDC around $1 billion. "We are seriously per-turbed by the decision that was taken to bring into the tariff equation, the emer-gency power from diesel generation. This proposed 200MW emergency power is

    coming at a huge cost to the economy. "The investment by the economy in this proposed scheme can be better utilised if deployed to give a permanent solution to this energy crisis, even if it means that permanent energy will be realised three to five years down the line.

    "All imported power is coming from util-ities operating in weak currencies, and therefore we believe the cost thereof should be low, not to cause a review of tariffs upwards," said the business repre-sentatives bodies. They added: Regional competitiveness is under serious threat with the currency crises in emerging/regional economies. Strong headwinds are also facing commodities.

    With no monetary ability to devalue cur-rency, there has to be internal devalua-tion to remain competitive. This, by defi-nition, means costs (electricity included) has to come down.

    News Update as @ 1530 hours, Tuesday 19 January 2016Feedback: bh24admin@zimpapers.co.zwEmail: bh24feedback@zimpapers.co.zw

    Industry, farmers reject proposed energy tariff hike

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  • By Tawanda Musarurwa

    HARARE - The Hwange-based RHA tungsten mine is set to be commissioned next month, with plans to convert it from open-pit to underground mine progressing .

    Parent company, AIM-listed Premier African Minerals, said plans to access the 870 under-ground level of the mine are currently on track.

    In view of the on-going, Pre-mier expects to update its resource estimate at the tung-sten mine following the com-pletion of an underground implementation study.

    The study, prepared by RHA and Whaleside Shaft Sinkers Zimbabwe, showed that the company would need $406 000 in capital cost for underground development.

    It also confirmed that the pro-ject schedule for equipping the vertical shaft hoist and com-missioning of operations on

    870 level remained on schedule for next month.

    Premier chief executive Mr George Roach said the move to expedite the conversion of the mine had been necessitated by unpredicted occurrences.

    "RHA was always planned, in the longer term, to be an underground mine. Unfore-seen developments during the initial open-pit operations led the company to accelerate the move to underground mining.

    This change in strategy has resulted in the need to finance company overheads for an extended period with-out recourse to cash flow gen-erated from the open-pit and finance substantial additional debt generated by RHA, he said.

    Mr Roach said Premier had suc-cessfully extracted and stock-piled ore from underground since late November and now anticipated RHA to generate positive operational cash flow during the course of this year.

    According to the company, after February, the aim is to process approximately 32 000 tonnes of run of mine ore at an average grade of 6,20 kilogramme per tonne to produce 249 tonnes of concentrate at 63 percent WO3 over six months.

    First production and positive operating cash flow from RHA before capital expenditure and working capital are now expected later this year.

    3 NEws

    RHA tungsten mine set for February commissioning

  • BH244

  • By Funny Hudzerema

    HARARE - Government says it has stepped up efforts to explore alternative power generation ave-nues such as gas and wind to curb current power shortages that have hit the country.

    Energy and Power Development Minister Dr Samuel Undenge said efforts are under way to exploit gas in different areas across the country to reduce power short-ages.

    We have considered the use of gas which is in Lupane we are developing strategies to exploit it

    for the benefit of the country.

    There is gas which is in Lupane and as we speak now there is a company which is carrying out experimental drilling to see whether we can fully exploit that gas for commercial use so that we can use it to turn the turbines to generate electricity, he said.

    Zimbabwe discovered billions of cubic feet of coal bed methane gas in Lupane and financial and infrastructure investments are required to harness the gas.

    Estimates say the country is home to more than 40 trillion cubic feet

    of potentially recoverable coal bed methane gas which is found in the Lupane - Lubimbi area.

    Work is underway that side and we are expecting to get results in some few months concerning for how long we can use the gas available in the area.

    Use of gas is part of Govern-ments initiatives to do away with power shortages in the country in future.

    As Government we are also call-ing for partnerships to look for ways to use wind and solar to sup-ply power to all the different areas

    around the country, he said.

    He added that if these sources of energy are fully exploited along-side with other projects which are underway in the coming five years we will have enough power in the country.

    The Government is also imple-menting a number of projects around the country to boost power generation projects, including long-term projects such as the Batoka Gorge Hydroelec-tric Power Station, which is being implemented alongside other independent power producers.

    5 NEws

    Zim eyes gas, wind as alternative power sources

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  • BH246

  • HARARE The United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) has ranked Zimbabwe as one of the top 30 countries that have made major efforts to reduce travel restrictions and allow free movement of tourists in the past seven years.

    In its 2015 Visa Openness Report released last week, the 157-member UNWTO, ranked Zimbabwe number 29 out of the top 54 member countries deemed to have made signifi-cant progress in relaxing tourist restrictions.

    Overall, 54 destinations sig-nificantly facilitated travel for citizens of 30 or more countries by changing their visa policies from visa required to eVisa, visa on arrival, or no visa required, the UNWTO said.

    These 54 destina