Sydney Kawadza Mash West Bureau Chief
An American business, Labacorp Power Company America has expressed interest in developing a 900 megawatt solar project in Zimbabwe.
The US-based corporate has applied to Government, through their local partners Craft Properties (Pvt) Ltd, to make presentations on the envisaged implementation of the gigantic and game-changing project.
In a statement at the weekend, Craft Properties (Pvt) Ltd founder chief executive Mr Kudakwashe Taruberekera said the business executives would make the presentation in July this year.
The 900MW project is expected to feed electricity onto the national grid when complete.
“Our partners wrote to us on April 12 this year requesting to make a presentation to the Government of Zimbabwe on how they intend to implement the mega solar project in Zimbabwe in partnership with Craft Properties (Pvt) Ltd Zimbabwe,” said Mr Taruberekera.
Mr Taruberekera said the investors will be bringing a full complement of professionals, including engineers, who will be working with technicians in the implementation and subsequent running of the solar plant.
Craft Properties signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Texan investors in November last year after President Mnangagwa gave the investment his blessings.
“Cde Mnangagwa wished our organization the best when we went to sign the MoU in Texas and his support and advise culminated in the deal,” Mr Taruberekera said.
Government, according to a letter from the Ministry of Energy and Power Development, date September 25, 2018, the project was a welcome development in the country’s energy sector.
“Our organization is very grateful for the support by the Government and we will work them in support of the President’s mantra that Zimbabwe is open for business.”
Craft Properties (PVT) Ltd is an elite member of the World Confederation of Businesses currently engaged with various corporates across the world to facilitate investment in Zimbabwe.
Mr Taruberekera also heads the World Conference of Business’s Africa region and he expects to take advantage of the position to lure foreign investors into Zimbabwe.
The solar project, which is expected to commence as soon as it gets Government approval, will also create employment for hundreds of Zimbabweans.
Craft Properties USA LLC provides a variety of services in the construction and real estate business in the Diaspora while there are also plans to register a branch in the United Kingdom.
According to the Stockholm Environment Institute, despite efforts to increase electricity generation, the SADC region still struggles to meet rising demand.
It further states that real GDP growth of more than five percent per year from 2001 to 2014 has resulted in unprecedented growth in electricity consumption and demand in the region.
It also projected demand for electricity energy to increase by an average of 3.1 percent per year from 2015 to 2027, to almost 540TWh, hence the need for countries to investment in alternative energy sources.
The main energy sources in Zimbabwe include coal, wood fuel, electricity and petroleum fuels.
The country, according to the Zimbabwe National Energy Policy, has vast and diverse energy sources energy resources but the per capita energy consumption is only 24.0gigajoules, compared with an average of 200GJ for the developed countries.