Zesa Holdings has signed three major deals that will see the power utility promote renewable energy utilisation and restructure electricity markets in Zimbabwe.
Zesa subsidiary Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company and Africa GreenCo signed the agreement which enables the latter to access and utilise Zimbabwe’s grid for electricity trading, promoting renewable energy integration and efficient resource utilisation.
Zesa Holdings executive chairperson Sydney Gata said the agreement showed Zimbabwe’s willingness to embrace new business models and innovative approaches.
“Africa GreenCo’s presence here today (yesterday) exemplifies the importance of private sector participation in the development of our energy industry,” he said.
Gata said Africa GreenCo’s risk mitigation strategy unlocked significant investments for Zimbabwe’s renewable energy development while aligning with Zesa’s vision of transitioning to a greener energy landscape without burdening government or the public sector.
“It [partnership] is a testament to the importance of fostering public-private partnerships to achieve our shared goals.”
GreenCo Africa chief executive Anah Hajduka said the agreement would provide new power sources for Zimbabwean businesses.
“This grid access will enable GreenCo to support the development of renewable energy generation in Zimbabwe and to provide new sources of supply to the many burgeoning Zimbabwean businesses that urgently require additional power to implement their ambitious expansion plans,” she said.
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GreenCo recently got approval for its Zimbabwean retail supply licence from the Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority, a breakthrough in the promotion of investment in Zimbabwe’s renewable energy sector.
The approval aligns with Zimbabwe’s goal of increasing renewable energy capacity to 26,5% by 2030.
Zesa also signed an agreement with Absolicon for a robotic manufacturing plant producing solar collectors to replace 1 400 coal-fired boilers.
Gata said the solar collectors produced by the Absolicon’s robotic manufacturing plant would revolutionise Zimbabwe’s energy landscape.
“These collectors will heat water to produce steam at temperatures of up to 160 degrees Celsius, thereby offering a clean and renewable energy alternative.
“Zimbabwe can significantly reduce its reliance on coal-fired boilers by deploying collectors in sectors like hospitals, beverage manufacturers, hotels and district heating, which contribute to carbon emissions and air pollution due to fossil fuel-fired engines,” he said.
“Zimbabwe is set to establish a robotic manufacturing plant to produce solar collectors locally, reducing carbon emissions and reducing transportation costs.”
The implementation of this project comes at a cost of US$7,6 million.
Absolicon chief executive Joakim Bystorm said the deal would also include the mass production of solar collectors in Zimbabwe.
“Zimbabwe’s national electricity company plans local production of solar collectors to supply the country’s industries with fossil-free heat.
“The collaboration aims to establish Absolicon’s robotised production line and sell the production line to Zesa. Absolicon’s unique concentrating solar collector for industrial heating is used by Carlsberg, Birra Peroni, and Colgate-Palmolive. The production line will create a competitive business for solar collectors, which have already been sold in Egypt and Canada,” Bystorm said.
Meanwhile, Gata also signed a joint venture agreement with QLV for the manufacture of cables in Zimbabwe.
The programme is expected to address challenges faced by Zesa, such as the backlog of customer connections and the need to replace over 60% of underground cables in Harare and Bulawayo.
Gata said United Arab Emirates’ Sheikh Ahmed Al Qassimi had invested US$70m into the joint venture.