Government through its development finance agency, the Infrastructure Development Bank of Zimbabwe (IDBZ) will open applications for suitors to partner in various renewable energy projects, 263Chat Business has established.
Zimbabwe is currently going through 18 hour long power cuts, resulting from outdated energy infrastructure and limited energy alternatives.
In a statement seen by this publication, the bank is calling on interested investors to submit expression of interest letters within this period (before 30 September).
“The Bank wishes to partner credible local and/or international investor(s), private individuals, and other investor institutions with reputable track record(s) in the development, financing and construction or installation of solar and mini-hydro renewable energy plants,” read the bank’s statement.
“The proposed initiatives are expected to plug the energy supply gap in the country, guarantee long-term energy self-sufficiency at the same time saving the scarce foreign currency used to import power from regional utilities,” it added.
Government is looking for investors to partner in the following renewable energy projects; the Osborne Mini Hydro Project, Odzani Mini Hydro Project, Rufaro Solar Farm Project, Sable Solar Farm Project, Gutu Solar Farm Project, Plumtree Solar Project, GDE Bulilima Solar Energy Project, National University of Science and Technology (NUST) Solar Energy Projects and Gwayi Solar Project.
“The Bank is seeking to partner with reputable investors who have proven experience in the development and financing of mini-hydro and solar projects and in particular the following attributes, among others, will be key: the investor/partner shall be properly incorporated according to the laws of Zimbabwe, demonstrates capacity (financial, technical, experience) to deliver projects of this nature and provide an impeccable verifiable company profile showing the experience and profiles of key personnel within the organization,” IDBZ said.
IDBZ is currently working with various Independent Power Producers to prepare projects to bankability.
One of the major factors weakening investor-appetite in the country’s energy sector lately have been the viability concerns arising from uncompetitive power tariffs, analysts say.
However, with smart energy projects in solar and hydro expected to be the mainstay of energy source going forward, the country still needs massive investments to rehabilitate existing infrastructure.
In March this year, deputy minister of Energy and Power Development, Magma Mudyiwa told delegates at the Zimbabwe Infrastructure Summit that the country needs US$ 8 billion to rehabilitate its aging energy infrastructure.
Currently, the power utility company, ZESA is operating only two power stations yielding energy supply of 1 093 MW against a national demand of 1 800MW.
Other small thermal power stations have a combined capacity of 300MW but currently produce 55MW due to bad state of infrastructure.