Blessing Bonga Business Reporter
CHINA Powerway Renewable Energy Company through its regional subsidiary Powerway South Africa plans to invest about US$160 million in the construction of a 100MW solar plant in Zimbabwe once all the regulatory processes are completed.
Powerway will partner with Mobility Holdings, a local company that specialises in renewable energy projects.
Speaking soon after meeting energy regulatory authorities in Harare last week, Powerway SA managing director Mr Charles Domingo said he was optimistic the project would commence in the next few months.
“The response we got from the local authorities is very encouraging and we hope to finalise the necessary paperwork so that the project can commence in the next few months.
“We also hope to engage your Government with a view to ensure that the 100MW that we expect to generate will be fed into the national grid in order to reduce the power deficit Zimbabwe is currently faced with,” he said.
The project is expected to occupy about 400 hectares of land that has already been identified while it would take about 12 months to complete. The plant will carry a 25-year guarantee.
The officials were not at liberty to divulge the location but only hinted that the place would be about 150-200km from Harare.
Powerway said they intend to embark on more solar projects in the country once the initial one starts operating. Feasibility assessments are being undertaken with the hope of opening Powerway Zimbabwe in the near future.
Mobility Holdings operations manager, Mr Bernard Matshiya who was standing in for the managing director, Mr Humphrey Munzvengwa said that the partnership with Powerway is the beginning of more projects that the two will embark on in the renewable energy sector.
“At the moment we have partnered on this solar farm project but in future we will look at other areas of renewable energy that we can also work together on in the hope of ensuring the country fully recovers from power and energy shortfalls,” he said.
Initial technical expertise will be imported from China and South Africa but thereafter the company will embark on a series of training locals for skills transfer while an estimated 600 contract jobs are expected to be created.
Powerway is a solar farm engineering and construction company, with subsidiary companies in Japan, Pakistan and the United Arab Emirates, and production bases in Guangdong, China, as well as Port Elizabeth in South Africa.
Powerway has provided more than 1,2 GW of solar power products and construction services in over 22 countries.