HARARE, January 5 (The Source) - South Africa's power utility Eskom on Tuesday said it had signed an agreement to sell 300 megawatts to its Zimbabwean counterpart, to help alleviate power shortages in its northern neighbour.
Eskom did not say when the agreement was signed, but local energy officials said the talks were finalised last month, with the imports starting towards year-end.
"Eskom has signed a power supply agreement with its Zimbabwean counterpart Zesa, but there is no secrecy about this," said Eskom in a statement.
"Eskom is part of the Southern African Power Pool (SAPP), and so is Zesa, where member utilities sell surplus electricity to each other depending on the need."
Zimbabwe has suffered from crippling electricity shortages for most of the last decade, and is producing half of its peak demand of 2000MW from both hydro and coal power generation.
Eskom said it has been involved in the electricity sector in various countries in Africa for a long time, utilising different forms of engagements, mainly bilateral trading arrangements such as Power Purchase and Power Sales Agreements.
"Eskom is also committed to ongoing participation in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region through SAPP as an institution," said Eskom.
"We are aware that our responsibilities to supply our neighbouring countries may create an apparent conflict when the domestic supply-demand balance is constrained. To reduce the impact of exports, we have ensured that power supply agreements with SAPP trading partners are sufficiently flexible to allow for the following controls during emergency situations in South Africa."
SAPP is made up of South Africa, Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
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