Britons plan $100m Zim investment

HARARE - The Zimbabwe Investment Authority (Zia) says some British investors are keen on investing $100 million in the country’s energy sector.

Nigel Chanakira, the Authority’s chairman, said the investors have enquired with Zia about the investment — an engagement he said was “the first of its kind in 15 years”.

“That was specifically for a $100 million in power generation. That is the indication in terms of volumes and values that can be done,” he said following a meeting between Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa and a British trade delegation on Tuesday.

He, however, noted that there had been a few transactions that have been done out of the United Kingdom including the $265 million takeover deal of pan-African banking group ABC Holdings by London Stock Exchange-listed Atlas Mara.

Zimbabwe is currently grappling with massive power shortages, generating approximately 1 100MW against national demand of at least 2 200MW.

Early this month, United Kingdom-based Green Rhino Energy (GRE) revealed plans to construct a 150 megawatts (MW) solar plant in the southern African country.

GRE, in partnership with a local company De Opper Trading, formed a special vehicle De Green Rhino Energy Private Limited (De Green) to pursue a $400 million solar energy project.

The Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority (Zera) said the project would be implemented in three modular units of 50MW.

Sources close to the developments say the company has already secured 375 hectares of land in Marondera for the project.

“We have already pegged the site and completed the Environmental Impact Assessment with the relevant authorities. We are now waiting for regulatory approval from Zera,” said the sources, who preferred anonymity.

Over the next 15 years, De Green is expected to roll out other solar power stations around the country, with total capacity to generate up to 2 500 MW at a cost of about $5,2 billion.

The land-locked southern Africa nation, among countries with the best conditions for solar photovoltaic worldwide, is currently attracting investors into the energy sector.

Last year, Zera was commissioned by government to develop a feed-in

tariff (FIT) policy, aimed at boosting private sector participation in the development of renewable energy sources.

GRE focuses on a broad range of issues in clean energy — from technology to financing renewable energy projects, with a particular focus on solar.

It is currently involved in large-scale solar and waste-to-energy projects in several African countries, among them South Africa, Namibia, Sierra Leone, Ghana, Nigeria and Cameroon.

Zimbabwe has vast energy sources at its disposal to increase generation capacity and these include coal — thermal power stations, coal bed methane — thermal power stations, hydropower and solar energy.

Comments (5)

The govt should first do exploration for minerals before awarding hectares of land for such low value projects. Thats how the chinese are eating in Africa-pretend to be building a dam , power station or mining coal when they are harvesting diamonds and gold free of charge.

MLELE DLAMINI - 1 November 2014

If this story is true, these Brits must be mentally deranged, or steeped in corrupt practices. Zimbabwe is still a pariah state run by the self-serving Zanu pf criminal mafia.

Dududza Veterai - 2 November 2014

I think the British can not just wait while the chinese take everything.. Someone must do something..

john - 2 November 2014

The EU has removed sanctions and soon Obama will be reviewing ZIDERA. Already the UK has sent a trade delegation to assess investment opportunities in our country. But you as a Zimbabwean remain sitting on the fence analysing politics. Dont be left out start you own project. we will help you with the company registration procedures including all statutory requirements. emails us 0771 419 294, 0776 228 760

Flixcom Solutions - 3 November 2014

Nigel are you the executive chairman of ZIA or non-executive chairman. In my view you are overstepping your mandate given your position at the Authority. We appreciate your zeal and enthusiasm but give the respective office bearers their chance to do their work. We have seen you in the headlines on countless times with Meikles and Afri-Asia. I stand to be guided and corrected if i am wrong. The same media that brought you down is now after you.

Zimbo - 4 November 2014

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