Africa Moyo in CHIPINGE
FINANCE and Economic Development Minister Patrick Chinamasa yesterday launched a $5,7 million state-of-the-art Kupinga hydropower station which has a rated capacity of 1,6MW.
The small hydro power station was constructed by Old Mutual together with its partner Kupinga Renewable Energy (Private) Limited company.
Construction of the hydropower station, which is based in Rusitu, began in 2014 and ended late last year. The power station started feeding power into the national in January this year.
Speaking during the commissioning of the Rusitu hydropower station yesterday, Minister Chinamasa said the lauch of the power station comes at a time when Government is pressing ahead with efforts to turnaround the economy.
He said economic transformation, as envisaged in the national economic blueprint ZimAsset, requires huge investments especially in power, a key enabler.
“There is no economy that will achieve sustainable development without investment in supporting infrastructure such as power generation, roads, industrial parks, railways, housing, dams and irrigation infrastructure among others.
“I want to applaud Old Mutual for supporting Government infrastructure development programmes as enunciated in ZimAsset. Investment in the Kupinga power station is a clear demonstration of the company’s commitment to supporting initiatives aimed at promoting Zimbabwe’s sustainable development,” said Minister Chinamasa.
The 1,6MW from Kupinga power station is signicant as they are a third of Chipinge town. Chipinge consumes 5MW.
He added that going forward, access to to reliable power supply throughout the country would help unlock massive opportunities for communities through job creation, empowerment of local people as they engage in many activities without worrying about power constraints.
Minister Chinamasa urged Old Mutual to “continue supporting national programmes”.
Government is offering various incentives to investors targeting power generation. Some of the incentives include tax holidays, National Project Status cost reflective tariffs and exemption from payment of withholding tax.
Energy and Power Development Minister Dr Samuel Undenge said there were several investment opportunities in power generation, particularly hydro electricity and solar. Currently, the country has a power shortage of between 300MW and 600MW.
In a speech read on her behalf, Minister of State for Manicaland Province Mandi Chimene implored Rusitu villagers to take proper care of the Rusitu hydropower station.
Old Mutual group CEO Mr Jonas Mushosho said the investment in power generation was part of the organisation’s corporate social responsibility.
Mr Mushosho said apart from investing in power generation, they have also invested $200 000 into the construction of a multi purpose hall at Sterksroom Secondary School. The school is in Sazunza village, approximately 500 metres away from the power station. Old Mutual employees mobilised $10 000 towards the construction of Saziya Clinic.