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ZESA renews bid to take over Byo power station

The Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA) has renewed its bid to take over the Bulawayo Thermal Power station from the Bulawayo City Council (BCC) as the saga over control of the power station rages on.

The feud over the ownership of the power station has been going on for years with BCC demanding royalties running into millions of dollars after the power utility took over the station in 1987 following the amalgamation of local authority power generation projects to the main grid.

In 2019, the power utility faced stiff resistance from Bulawayo residents after it proposed to destroy the iconic cooling towers at the thermal power station stating that they had outlived their life span.

Several meetings have been held in the past between the two parties over the ownership of the power station with no solution in sight.

The power utility has once again revived its intention to take control of the 120MW power station.

In a draft Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) seen by CITE, the power utility wants ownership of the land, power station and associated infrastructure.

“That pending the conclusion of negotiations and in any case immediately after signing this MOU, BCC shall take all necessary steps, including providing written confirmation, that it recognizes the ownership of Bulawayo Power Station being fully vested in Zimbabwe Power Company (Private) Limited,” reads the MOU in part.

The terms are that within 14 days from the signing , BCC shall submit a “comprehensive compensation proposal to ZESA, which shall include, but not limited to where the form of compensation is sounding in money, the sum total of the compensation amount; a breakdown of the compensation amount; method of settlement, e.g. cash payment, set-off against BCC’s accrued debts, terms of payment, the currency of payment, tax payment, etc., tenure of compensation; and any other administrative information as may be ancillary. “

In addition, the MOU also stated that the parties shall use reasonable efforts to conclude the compensation negotiations within six months of the agreement. 

“Upon conclusion of the negotiations, and subject to all the relevant governance approvals having been obtained by both Parties, a Compensation, and Settlement Agreement shall be entered into to facilitate the payment/settlement of the compensation deemed to be due to BCC,” it read.

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