$90m solar project for Chipinge

Luthando Mapepa Chipinge Correspondent

A LEADING renewable energy company is this month expected to inject $90 million into a renewable energy technology park in Middle Sabi, Chipinge district.

The green energy technology park project in Middle Sabi is part of a comprehensive economic revitalisation programme of President Mnangagwa’s Government targeting emerging and high-growth sectors.

The park is also expected to help the nation achieve its goal of generating adequate power via renewable sources as government plans to increase solar and wind power capacity.

The company, which is a joint venture of EMC Continental (Pvt) Ltd and Metro Plan (Pvt) Ltd, will construct a 300MWP solar project that will feed into the national grid.

A dossier by the investors to Government, which The Manica Post has in possession, shows that EMC Continental (Pvt) Ltd, (represented by Dr Sidney Gata) and Metro Plan Pvt Ltd (represented by Mr Albert Mugabe) jointly carried a feasibility study that deemed the project economically viable.

“The two investors approved by Ministry of Energy and Power Development are developing a renewable energy technology park at Middle Sabi. Following support and corporate undertakings from ZERA and ZESA Holdings; the sponsors completed an extensive feasibility study which showed the project to be economically viable and environmentally feasible. It will employ 160 workers and 12 x technical-managerial staff. Needless to say, Zimbabwe requires so much of these power projects to supply and operationalise ZimAsset,” reads part of the dossier.

Though no official comment could be obtained from the investors, Chipinge district administrator Mr William Mashava confirmed the deal and said the multi-million solar project was expected to commence this month.

Mr Mashava said the project awaits approval of national project status from the Ministry of Industry and Commerce to enhance its smooth flow.

“Yes, I can confirm that the solar project at Middle Sabi will commence any time this month. Once the project starts, it will directly employ 160 people.

“Government has already ceded about 650 hectares of Middle Sabi Estates to the company for the solar park project.

“The Chipinge Rural District Council is working with the investors in the meantime and site investigations and surveys, including the mandatory environmental and social impact studies have been concluded,” said Mr Mashava.

Mr Mashava added that some households will be affected by the project.