ZESA Holdings has licensed 13 independent power producers with a combined capacity of 4 546 megawatts expected to be operational in about four years.
Zesa is producing about 1 400 MW which is about half peak demand.
Of the 13 licensed IPPs, four of the smaller ones in outlying areas are already operational with a combined capacity of 83MW, generally lighting up the Lowveld and keeping a sawmill running.
ZERC administrator Mr Peter Mufunda said the independent producers are working hard to complete their projects.
“We are happy with the pace at which the companies we have licensed are moving. They give us regular updates on every development. All things being equal, we should be able to have all of them in about three-and-a-half years latest.
“Most of the licensed companies have international partners who have been in the business of producing electricity in different countries or have partnered other financing organisations in mobilising financing of power projects.
“Other partners to the licensed companies are into construction, operation and maintenance as well as manufacturing of required components in electricity production,” he said.
Mr Mufunda said the licensing of new partners was expected to reduce the load on Zesa. He said the recent increase in electricity tariffs would see some of the companies expediting their projects as Zimbabwe moves to increase power production.
Mr Mufunda said the Council of Ministers of Energy in Sadc made a decision that power producers should have cost reflective tariffs. Some of the companies that have been licensed but not yet operational include the proposed giant Sengwa Power Station, which was licensed in September last year.
The plant is expected to have a capacity of 2 400 MW and the project is expected to take four years before it’s operational.
Lusulu Power Plant, to the north of Sengwa in Binga, with capacity to produce 2 000 MW was licensed in October last year.
The company is negotiating financing and shipment of equipment while the project is expected to be complete by 2013.
Eunafric Power Station was licensed in September last year and is in discussions with Harare City Council and the ZETDC on connection to the grid.
The plant is expected to have an initial capacity of 120 MW while the project is expected to be complete by next year, helping supply the critical shortages in Harare.
GeoBase Clean Energy was licensed in January this year to operate an initial 120 MW concentrated Solar Power System in Gwanda.
Grid impact studies have already been conducted by ZETDC to determine connection possibilities while other resources are being mobilised.
The project is expected to be complete in about two-and-a-half years.
Nyangani Renewable Energy, with a generation capacity of 18 MW mini-hydro power station, was licensed in October last year and is in the process of updating feasibility studies, processing water permits and connection to the grid.
The project is expected to be complete in two years.
Mutirikwi mini-hydro power plant was issued with a generation license in October last year to build and operate a 5 MW power plant.
The company has since done feasibility studies on the project while investors have expressed interest in revamping it.
The plant is expected to be operational in about two years.
Companies that are operational include Triangle Limited (45 MW) which uses bargasse to produce power.
The company consumes most of its power internally while the remainder is banked into the national grid.
Hippo Valley Estates (33 MW) also uses bargasse to produce power and consumes most of its power internally while banking the remainder into the grid.
There is also Border Timbers Sawmill (500kW) which uses wood waste to produce power and exports some of the power into the grid while most of it is consumed in its sawmill.
ZERC withdrew a license from Campion Financial Services after the company failed to make progress during the one year the license was subsisting.
The company was licensed in February 2009.