Tawanda Musarurwa–Senior Reporter
Diversified resources firm, RioZim, says it is in the process of selecting an EPC (engineering, procurement and construction) contractor for its 178 megawatt (MW) solar project.
EPC contracts are the most common form of contract used to undertake construction works by the private sector on large-scale and complex infrastructure projects.
According to RioZim chairman Rashid Beebeejaun, the solar project will commence once an energy uptake agreement has been completed with the Zimbabwe Electricity Distribution Company (ZETDC).
“The company obtained independent power producer (IPP) licenses for the solar power projects for each operating location.
“The company is progressing with selecting an EPC contractor whilst awaiting finalisation of power purchase agreements with ZETDC,” he said in the FY2020 report.
Meanwhile, the mining group has said its 2 800MW Sengwa Power Station has been constrained by funding issues.
“The efforts to secure financing to commence Phase 1 of the project were significantly hampered by the uncertainties presented by the Covid-19 pandemic,” said Mr Beebeejaun.
“The company is focused on advancing the financing arrangements in order to make positive progress on the power station.”
RioZim, through Rio Energy Ltd, owns coal mining claims at Sengwa in Gokwe.
However, slow progress on the Sengwa project could doom the project as coal is increasingly being shunned as an environmentally unfriendly energy source.
Coal is a dirty fossil fuel whose continued use has been receiving global condemnation as one of the chief drivers of global warming.
The country has about 26 billion coal reserves with a potential to last over 100 years, but there is now pressure to exhaust the energy source in case of a possible ban on coal.