Solgas, an independent renewable power project being implemented under a US$7 million facility in Cross Mabale in Hwange District, has been granted national project status.
Ministry of Finance and Economic Development granted the status following the company’s application through the Ministry of Energy and Power Development.
The plant, which is under construction in Hwange, is expected to be commissioned between December 2019 and January 2020.
There are plans to increase the plant’s generation capacity from the current 5 megawatts to 50 megawatts once the project kicks off.
The plant is expected to benefit over 7 000 households in Mabale community over and above 250 jobs to be created during construction stage. The project is targeting to employ women and the youths.
Some of the contractors include Soventix from Germany and eXess Africa from South Africa. Solgas project co-founder and chief finance officer Tafadzwa Mundicha said there was need to play a part in providing sustainable and environment friendly energy sources to curb carbon emissions.
“The motivation to venture into the project was due to frustrations of load shedding in 2014 when I was operating a company called Mamela Metals and I ended up closing it. The other motivating factors were the regulatory framework for investment into renewable energy, which presented very little barriers to entry,” he said.
Mr Mundicha said Zimbabwe offered one of the best tariffs in the region, following the introduction of foreign currency interbank market that encouraged investment.
“The total investment is a USD$7 million fully funded in partnership with a local pension fund. Solar is environmentally friendly and will help meet SDG7 in accordance with the Paris club initiatives.
“Zimbabwe is basically a solar country through and through with the only limitations being the need to invest in stabilising and making sure that our national grid is efficient enough to handle,” he said.
He said the firm plans to have a positive impact in the areas of their operations by empowering the youths and women in the communities.–herald.co.zw