COMMENT: Encouraging investments in the energy sector

The Chronicle

Zimbabwe on Thursday launched another Solar Power Plant as it continues to improve power generation to end load shedding.

The US$30 million Centragrid Solar Power Plant in Nyabira, Mashonaland West province is set to be the largest solar plant in the country.

The plant is producing 2,5MW which will be increased to 25 MW following the US$30 million investment.

The project is a joint venture between Centragrid, National Social Security Authority (NSSA) and Old Mutual.

NSSA is investing US$8 million while Old Mutual is providing US$22 million. The project is expected to take between nine and 12 months to complete.

A 4,5km transmission line will be constructed from Nyabira to join the Norton-Bindura transmission grid.

The project which will supply electricity to 100 000 households and drive industry and commerce towards vision 2030, will also create 250 jobs.

Speaking at the launch, President Mnangagwa said the solar project did not only represent a step forward in terms of increasing the share of renewable energy for Zimbabwe but will serve as a showcase for future sustainability and economic development initiatives.

“It is also important to note that joint ventures of this nature blend well with my Government’s efforts of turning the tide against the triples of unemployment among the youths, poverty and inequality,” said President Mnangagwa.

He said renewable energy spin-offs should be enjoyed by rural communities as the country continues with its progressive push towards rural electrification.

President Mnangagwa implored companies to invest in the energy sector saying it was difficult to secure offshore funding because of the illegal sanctions imposed on the country.

What is encouraging is that a number of private companies have started investing resources into power generation but we need more so that the country is not just guaranteed adequate electricity but produces even surplus for export.

Four months ago, a Chinese company Zimbabwe Zhongxin Electrical Energy (ZZEE) completed the first phase of its thermal power plant on the outskirts of Hwange town.

The company which is rolling out its plants in phases expects to be feeding more than 900 MW into the national grid when it completes its third phase in 2025.

Solgas company’s Solar Plant which is also in Hwange district is already feeding 5 MW into the national grid and it plans to establish similar plants in all the provinces to complement Government efforts to improve power generation.

Energy is key to the achievement of vision 2030 and we want to commend companies that have already heeded the Government’s call to invest in the energy sector and urge others to come on board.

Zimbabwe like the rest of Africa has abundant sunshine throughout the year and companies should take advantage of this God-given resource to invest in renewable energy.

Article Source: The Chronicle

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