The Zimbabwe reserve bank, says the Bindura Nickel Corporation (BNC), needs the mining companies to keep at least 80 percent of their foreign currency export earnings because they waste much of their cash on electricity bills.
The government granted the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (Zesa) a permit to pay foreign currency for energy imports from South Africa and Mozambique by mining companies and hotels earlier this year.
On Friday, after the adoption of new rules through a legislative act, the government expanded the dispensation to all exporters and partial exporters.
Statutory Instrument 249 of 2019, recognized as Exchange Control (Exporters and Partial Exporters ' Payments for Electricity and Related Services in Foreign Currency) sets the requirements for the new arrangement BNC MD Batsirai Manhando, but claimed that the existing 55% foreign currency retention limits implied that companies were left without sufficient foreign currency to pay for other important foreign currency.
Tourism companies are already permitted in foreign currency to retain 80 percent of their revenues.
Manhando disclosed that the agreement for the pre-payment of electricity supplies to miners between Zesa and Eskom has so far worked smoothly.
"It's an investment we bill for. Zesa had sight of it, and Eskom had sight of it so the money would go straight to Eskom without being transitory, "he added.
"We can then supply power once Eskom receives the fee. Manhando said BNC had not seen power cuts since the arrangement was implemented. "They have to look at money first before they provide power."
The power utility has been struggling to pay back legacies loans of South Africa's Eskom and Hidroelectrica de Cahora Bassa (HCB) of Mozambique. On Fridays, the electricity generated by Zimbabwe was only 514 MW on peak demand of 1,400 MW.
With Zimbabwe, energy minister Fortune Chasi has been negotiating, since his appointment in September, with both power companies, to expand their electricity supply.
Tags : Zimbabwe reserve bank, Bindura Nickel Corporation, Exchange Control, electricity,