Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority (ZERA) is a corporate body that was set up per the Energy Regulatory Authority Act, Chapter 13:23 of 2011. It is tasked with the over-arching responsibility of regulating the Zimbabwean energy sector. Its governing authority is also drawn from the Electricity Act, Chapter 13:19, number 4 of 2002. Additionally, that works in unison with the Petroleum Act, Chapter 13:22 along with any other applicable amendments. This article is meant to share with you some of the latest ZERA updates.

Fuel Prices Reviewed Upwards – ZWL And USD

Effective 5 February 2021 fuel prices have been reviewed. It has only been a month since the last review which was on the 5th of January 2021. Petrol Blend (E10) now goes for ZWL$104.82 per litre or US$1.26 per litre. Formerly it was US$1.21 or ZWL$99.35. Diesel (D50) now costs ZWL$105.58 for a litre or US$1.27 for the same. Formerly it was US$1.23 or ZWL$100.91. As is the norm, operators are still allowed to sell fuel below the cap depending on their trading advantages.

Electricity Stepped Tariffs

The current electricity tariffs became effective on the 17th of November last year and still apply. The first 50 units cost ZWL$1.63 per unit whereas 51 to 100 units go for ZWL$3.27 per unit. The next 101 to 200 units need ZWL$5.72 per unit and ZWL$8.17 is needed for the next 201 to 300 units. The next 301 to 400 units cost ZWL$8.39 per unit and anything from 401 units needs ZWL$9.80 per unit.

Introduction Of Electronic Licenses

Effective 25 January 2021 started the issuance of electronic licenses (e-licenses). The issuance of these e-licenses will start off catering for just 5 categories. These categories are Petroleum Retail, Petroleum Wholesale, Petroleum Production (i.e. blending), Liquid Petroleum Gas Retail, and Liquid Petroleum Gas Wholesale. The e-licenses will be delivered via email and will bear certain security features. They will have a 2D data matrix, a 1D linear barcode, a unique license number, and a watermark. Once received it can be printed and displayed as required by the law. For detailed information on this, you can email on licensing@zera.co.zw.

Licensing Of Petroleum Sector This Year

With regards to the renewal of licenses or applying for new ones, the aforementioned email can be used. License fees are payable either in US dollars or the local currency equivalent at the prevailing interbank exchange rate. The license structure is as follows:

License CategoryUS$ (VAT Excluded)
(Annual Licensing Fee) 
Urban Retailing500
Rural Retailing200
Production (Blending)5000
Production (Ethanol/Biodiesel)20000
LPG Retail100
LPG Procurement8000

Some Prospects

Petroleum Sector

There has been relative stability, economically, which has led to a semblance of sanity in the sector. Gone are the days when prices reviews were weekly, you remember that time? Remember that time when queues for fuel and LPG were the order of the day. Torrid times they were but for a while now things have been relatively stable. That is part of the reason why it seems more players are entering the energy sector. I guess the reinstatement of the US dollar as legal tender really spruced up things a bit.

I have noticed several fuel stations are under construction throughout the country. I am thinking that speaks to how plentiful opportunities therein are and also how lucrative it starts businesses therein. Even if you look at the idea of having or running a fuel station, the annual licenses are quite affordable. I mean, for instance, an annual urban fuel retailing licensing of US$500 is nothing compared to what you can make in a year. Even looking on the LPG side, more and more players are entering the field – US$100 for a retail license annually is quite manageable.

Energy Sector

There are apparent prospects on the independent power producers’ side – serious consideration needed there. The quest for using renewable energy sources is still fresh and solar is one big prospect. Solar farms ought to become a common feature in Zimbabwe. There is so much unlocked potential and so much money waiting to be made in the domain. This also spans to solar systems, solar consumables, and solar services. If you want to make some money in the energy sector, these are some considerations to have in mind.

Those are the key ZERA updates worth knowing at the moment. Hopefully, if you are contemplating starting a business in the petroleum or energy sector this article will nudge you into action.