So­lar power plant con­struc­tion hits snag

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Business Chronicle - Oliver Kazunga

CON­STRUC­TION of De Green Rhino En­ergy’s 50 megawatt so­lar power plant in Maron­dera un­der the first phase of the project has missed the dead­line as the power pur­chase agree­ment is yet to be signed.

The in­vestor and the Zim­babwe Elec­tric­ity Trans­mis­sion and Dis­tri­bu­tion were ex­pected to have signed the power pur­chase agree­ment last month.

De Green Rhino En­ergy is a part­ner­ship be­tween Lon­don-based Green Rhino En­ergy-run by Ger­many so­lar ex­perts-and a lo­cal com­pany De Op­per Trad­ing.

The Maron­dera so­lar power project, if fully im­ple­mented, is ex­pected to gen­er­ate 150MW at a cost of about $400 mil­lion.

De Op­per Trad­ing chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Mr Fran­cis Gogwe told Busi­ness Chron­i­cle that ne­go­ti­a­tions for the power pur­chase agree­ment and im­ple­men­ta­tion agree­ment have taken longer than an­tic­i­pated re­sult­ing in a de­lay in the con­struc­tion of the project.

“Con­struc­tion of the 50MW un­der the first phase of the project was sup­posed to be­gin this month but hasn’t be­gun as we’re yet to sign the power pur­chase agree­ment be­tween our­selves and ZETDC.

“The sign­ing of the power pur­chase agree­ment and im­ple­men­ta­tion agree­ment was sup­posed to have been done in Au­gust,” he said.

If sign­ing of the power pur­chase agree­ment is con­cluded, 50MW will be fed into the na­tional grid.

While await­ing the sign­ing of the power pur­chase agree­ment, Mr Gogwe said they were presently build­ing of­fices at the site of the project.

It is be­lieved that the firm’s project would go a long way in ad­dress­ing the coun­try’s power deficit by feed­ing into the na­tional grid.

Due to lack of in­vest­ments in power gen­er­a­tion over the years by Zesa, the coun­try’s power util­ity, Zim­babwe is presently gen­er­at­ing about 1 100MW against a na­tional de­mand of 2 200MW.

De Green Rhino En­ergy is one of the in­de­pen­dent power pro­duc­ers that the Zim­babwe En­ergy Reg­u­la­tory Au­thor­ity has li­censed to set up power plants in the coun­try.

The so­lar power com­pany is presently de­vel­op­ing large-scale so­lar and en­ergy and waste-to-en­ergy plants in South Africa, Namibia, Sierra Leone, Ghana, Nige­ria, Cameroon, In­dia and Puerto Rico. — @ okazunga

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