Solar power plant construction hits snag
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