18 March 2014

Zimbabwe: Chinese Firm to Invest U.S $250 Million in Solar Project

CHINESE energy company, Zhenfa New Science and Technology plans to invest $250 million in a 100 megawatt solar photovoltaic project this year. In a statement issued at the just-ended Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio Economic Development seminar last week, the company said the project will require 315 hectares and will generate 218 million Kw/h in the first year of operation.

"Zhenfa will invest in a 100MW solar photovoltaic power project in Zimbabwe in 2014," said the company.

"The project will generate 218 million Kw/h in the first year and five billion Kw/h after five years.

"The company decided to invest in Zimbabwe by referral after hearing that the country had power challenges but very good solar radiation ratios.

"The rich sunshine resource and climate enables Zimbabwe to be one of the leading countries to build solar power stations.

"We are still looking at various sites to set-up the plant but any place in Zimbabwe would be good for a solar power plant."

A director at the company, Mr John Wang said the firm would use internal resources to invest in the country. Over time, he said Zhenfa plans to invest as much as 2 gigawatts solar energy capacity in the country.

"Zhenfa group plans to invest in a 2GW solar photovoltaic power project in Zimbabwe within the coming five years. We would like to share the experience and invest in PV power projects in Zimbabwe and Africa as a whole," said Mr Wang.

He said both projects would support agriculture and animal husbandry activities thereby creating employment.

Mr Wang said the firm has since identified ChiMuts Solar Zimbabwe as a strategic partner in which Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister, Christopher Mutsvangwa's son Tendai has interests.

Established in 2004, the firm focuses on solar power system technology innovation, PV system equipment development and large scale applications.

The firm has so far completed PV projects with total capacity of 2GW (include EPC and own investment). In 2013 alone, the firm installed 1,3GW.

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