1 April 2013

Zimbabwe: Biomass Power Station On the Cards

LUROSA Investments (Private) Limited, has applied for a licence to construct a two- megawatt power station in Chimanimani, Manicaland province, the Zimbabwe Electricity Regulatory Authority has said.

Located at Chisengu, the proposed plant will generate power from biomass (timber waste) in the eastern part of Zimbabwe.

The new power station is expected to help improve Zimbabwe's power generation, which currently fails to meet national demand especially during peak hours.

The country is at the moment producing around 1 200 megawatts of electricity against demand of about 2 000 megawatts. Lurosa Enterprises will operate as Zimbabwe Green Energy.

Lurosa's interest to construct the power station were contained in a notice that was issued by Zera notifying the public of the development and that was also soliciting for public opinion.

"The Zimbabwe Electricity Regulatory Authority hereby notifies the public that it has received an application from Lurosa Investments (Pvt) Limited to construct, own, operate and maintain a 2MW electricity generation station for the purpose of the generation and supply of electricity in Zimbabwe. The name of the generation station is Zimbabwe Green Energy.

"Any person who wishes to make representation on this application as advertised may within 14 days from the last day of this publication, lodge a written representation with Zimbabwe Electricity Regulatory Authority," read the statement.

Currently, over 70 000 tonnes of biomass waste is produced annually with long-term projections estimating that the figure would more than double by 2015.

Zimbabwe has a large timber industry, much of which is concentrated in Manicaland province, with the industry holding approximately 120 000 hectares of timber plantations, equal to 0,02 percent of Zimbabwe's land area.

The country's energy mix is primarily dominated by fossil fuels with the only major non-fossil source being hydroelectricity that is produced at Kariba.

The electricity regulator has since granted more than 11 other investors licences to establish independent power stations in the country.

The projects, which are estimated to be operational in the next three to 10 years, are valued at US$10 billion and have the potential to produce 5 400MW.

Government is currently in the process of unbundling Zesa Holdings into five entities which include National Grid Services responsible for the transmission of electricity and will be wholly owned by the Government to ensure an even play field for all power producers in the country.

New Ziana

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