Meeco’s says its $400mln solar venture granted ‘national project status’

HARARE,– Oursun Energy, the Zimbabwean subsidiary of Swiss energy and communications firm, the Meeco Group said on Friday its $400 million solar power venture has been granted ‘national project status’ by government.

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Meeco’s says its $400mln solar venture granted ‘national project status’

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Projects awarded national status are given preferential treatment including exemptions from paying import duty and other taxes.

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The project, which will be implemented over the next five years, will generate a total of 230 megawatts from numerous 5MW plants that will be set up across the country.

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Oursun has since applied to the Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority (Zera) for an independent power producer license for the first project, expected to be complete by April, which will produce 5MW to be set up in Mashonaland East province.

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Another 5MW project will be set up in Harare within the same period while similar projects that will be dotted around the country would be done over the next five years.

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Oursun Energy executive director, Simba Mhuriro told The Source the firm would invest between $360 million to $400 million over the next five years and that government had awarded the investment ‘national project status.’

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“Originally, the national project status was granted to projects with national impact that were funded by the government,” he said.

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“However over time the government has begun to grant the status for projects from the private sector.”

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He said the firm’s venture had been awarded national status as a result of the huge capital outlay involved and the impact that it will have.

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“The project is in line with the Zimbabwean government’s thrust to promote power generation projects in order to curtail the current power deficit,” he said.

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He said part of the equipment for the first 5MW project has already arrived in the country.

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No comment could be obtained from the Ministry of Energy and Power Development.

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Zimbabwe is battling a perennial power crisis as demand far outstrips supply and is also looking to alternatives such as solar power to bridge the deficit.