Golden Sibanda Senior : Business Reporter
The National Social Security Authority has declined a request for a $25 million loan from the Zimbabwe Power Company for the equity portion funding of one of its projects. The funds were meant for the power utility’s $202 million 100MW solar plant to be constructed in Gwanda. ZPC also awarded contracts for Bulawayo Insukamini (100MW) and Munyati (100MW) to make a total of 300MW set to come from solar energy.This forms part of the broader programme to increase power production, which includes ongoing process to expand output at Kariba South and Hwange.
This will see the power utility helping close the crippling power deficit with current average output of 1 050MW against demand at peak periods of 2 200MW.
The Herald Business has it on good authority that ZPC had applied for loan funding support from NSSA for part of its critically important national power projects.
However, NSSA board chair Mr Robin Vela denied having sight of the loan request despite the fact ZPC acknowledged that they approached the authority.
Sources said NSSA told ZPC that it does not have the funding, having recently provided funding to a State enterprise for the purchase of Telecel Zimbabwe.
Contractually, the utility contributes a prescribed percentage of the engineering construction and procurement cost and also finances related project costs.
“They had applied for $25 million to fund the equity portion for the Gwanda project, but we understand NSSA said they do not have the money,” said a source.
“They were told there was no money available because NSSA had extended a $30 million loan (to Zarnet) for the purchase of Telecel,” the source added.
ZPC public relations executive Fadzai Chisveto confirmed recently that the power utility had approached NSSA for a loan, but was awaiting the decision.
“ZPC did apply for a loan (from NSSA). We are still awaiting a response from them as we have no formal communication from them as yet,” she said.