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Monday, July 15, 2024

ZESA pens energy deals

Story by Memory Chamisa in Dubai

THE government of Zimbabwe has signed three energy agreements on cable manufacturing, concentrate solar collectors and system operations on the sidelines of the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Dubai, marking a crucial step in restructuring electricity markets, as the country takes a bold step towards harnessing clean and renewable energy solutions.

The agreements will see the establishment of Swedish Company Absolicon’s Robotic Manufacturing Plant which will produce solar collectors and provide fossil-free heat that will be used in various sectors including hospitals, beverage manufacturers and hotels.

The development will significantly reduce reliance on coal-fired boilers, which contribute to carbon emissions and air pollution.

The Minister of Energy and Power Development, Honourable Edgar Moyo said, “Additionally, ZESA Holdings has also signed a System Operations Agreement with Africa Greenco, a private company dedicated to supporting renewable energy development in Zimbabwe. These two agreements, signed during the ongoing COP28 in Dubai at the Zimbabwe Pavilion are truly historic and mark a significant milestone in our nation’s journey towards a greener and more environmentally friendly energy sector.”

“We signed an agreement on cooperation for mass production of concentrating solar collectors in Zimbabwe. The agreement describes the steps to the establishment of Absolicon’s robotized production line and involves an initial payment of 100,000 Euros. Zimbabwe’s national electricity company plans local production of solar collectors to supply the country’s industries with fossil-free heat,” said Absolicon chief executive officer, Mr Joakim.

Africa GreenCo Group, chief executive, Ms Anah Hajduka said, “Zimbabwe possesses abundant untapped renewable energy resources, including solar, wind, and hydro potential, yet to be fully harnessed. GreenCo, in collaboration with key industry stakeholders, aims to effectively leverage these resources. The mission is to participate in opening Zimbabwe’s electricity supply industry and fostering competition through innovative market models, all while remaining dedicated to supporting the country’s transition to a more sustainable, reliable energy sector. This commitment involves promoting investment, renewable energy, and local development, underscoring our role as a steadfast partner actively promoting regional sustainability and innovation.”

ZESA executive chairperson, Dr Sidney Gata revealed that one of the three agreements will see the establishment of an electricity cables and conductors’ production plant at ZESA Enterprises.

“I firmly believe that the partnership between Zimbabwe and the Private Office of Sheikh Ahmed Al-Qassimi will continue to flourish, bringing about shared benefits for our people. Together, we can build a strong supply chain in the electricity sector, ensuring a reliable and sustainable energy infrastructure. This investment resonates with our government’s commitment to providing efficient and affordable electricity to all corners of our country.

“We aim to address the pressing challenges faced by ZESA, including the backlog of over 350,000 customer connections and the need to replace more than 60% of underground cables in Harare and Bulawayo. As Zimbabwe like many other developing countries works on the roadmap to just transition, low-carbon and sustainable economies hold great potential for job creation, technological innovation, and the development of resilient societies,” he said.

Through redirection of finance to green technologies, adaptation solutions and innovative businesses, the financial sector is expected to play a key role in the transition to low-carbon economies.

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