HomeIndustry SectorsFinance and PolicyAfDB backs off-grid solar project in Zim

AfDB backs off-grid solar project in Zim

The Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa (SEFA), an arm of the African Development Bank (AfDB), has approved a $965,000 grant for a 20MW off-grid solar project in Zimbabwe.

PV Magazine reported that the grant was awarded to Zimbabwean investment company Oxygen Energy Private Limited who will compile a business case for the project.

Solar project specs

According to media, the project installations will occur on several Old Mutual Property Group Zimbabwe-owned buildings.

The generated power will offset any power interruptions caused to the small and medium sized businesses within these buildings.

SEFA said the project will lead to displacement of more than 12 million liters of diesel per year, and that it will be developed in the frame of the country’s Agenda for Sustainable Socio-Economic Transformation (ZimAsset 2013), PV Magazine reported.

Zim power situation

Having experienced low dam levels at the Kariba hydropower dam, with generating capacity dropping from 750MW to 275MW, the southern African country continues to seek support from South Africa. Read more…

With ongoing discussions around the amount of procured power to be supplied matched with fair payment conditions, ZESA remains in debt with the South African utility Eskom.

Earlier this week, Eskom noted that notice has been given to the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA) to honour its increasing debt by the end of this month or it would be forced to cut its electricity supply.

According to Engineering News, Zimbabwe owes Eskom R603 million [$44 million], of which R119 million [$8.6 million] is outstanding arrears. The amount has increased from R443 million [$32 million] that ZESA owed Eskom for power supply as at December 2016.

Eskom supplies about 300MW of electricity per day to Zimbabwe under a nonbinding agreement.

“Eskom can confirm it had concluded a repayment plan with ZESA and have subsequently given ZESA an extension to end May 2017 to ensure compliance and have indicated that no further lenience will be given,” Eskom said in response to queries from the African News Agency (ANA).

“The quoted balance is incorrect, with ZESA owing Eskom considerably less than the stated R1.08 billion [$73 million], and Eskom has sufficient guarantees in place to secure the debt.” Read more…


Featured image: 123rf

Ashley Theron
Ashley Theron-Ord is based in Cape Town, South Africa at Clarion Events-Africa. She is the Senior Content Producer across media brands including ESI Africa, Smart Energy International, Power Engineering International and Mining Review Africa.