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Energy Minister Launches Renewable Energy Fund

Minister of Energy and Power Development Zhemu Soda (MP) launched the Renewable Energy Fund this Monday

The Fund is expected to unlock over USD 30 Million from the Zimbabwean financial markets, and regional and international development focus entities, the bulk of which would otherwise not typically be directed towards RE fina.

This year, the United Nations SDG-Fund approved Zimbabwe’s USD 45 Million programme on catalysing investments in Renewable Energy (RE) for the acceleration of the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the country.

The UN SDG-Fund is contributing USD 10 Million to the programme whilst the Government of Zimbabwe through the Infrastructure Development Bank of Zimbabwe (IDBZ) and local partners including Old Mutual Investment Group (OMIG), Zimnat Asset Management and CABS is contributing a total of USD 35 Million.

The 4-year programme aims to leverage private investments in order to support Renewable Energy-based projects for the achievement of the SDGs in Zimbabwe.

During the launch, Soda was asked to state the major sources of power in Zimbabwe to which he responded by saying Kariba and Hwange.

He said Hwange’s capacity is 920 Megawatts but is generating an average of 400 MW because it’s now 40 years without major rehabilitation.

The minister added that the government has taken a decision to rehabilitate the Hwange power station with around US$310m and various services have started at Hwange for rehabilitation on all the 6 power generation units that are currently making up for the Hwange Station. He added:

The idea was to take out 2 units at a time when unit 7 starts feeding into the grid. This will kickstart after the coming in of units 7 and 8, where units 1 to 6 are rehabilitated.

He said the rehabilitation of Kariba Dam which started in 2017 is still on course and is expected to end in 2025. He said:

It’s on 61% completion. The Spillway rehabilitation is at 50%. It started in 2019. This rehabilitation has nothing to do with the current shortage of power.

The minister also said Zimbabwe has a capacity of generating 1500 megawatts at Kariba but all depends on the availability of water. Soda added:

Because of Hwange power station breakdowns, we had to depend and rely on Kariba more than what Zambia did particularly in Winter.

We are aware we have over-used our water, we are now using water for Zambia to generate electricity after negotiations at a higher level to allow Zimbabwe to continue generating between 250 and 300 megawatts. There is absolutely nothing bad about Zimbabwe or Zambia.

Munyati has a capacity of 90MW, Byo 100 MW and Harare around 200MW. But they have been producing less. We are on Bulawayo station to produce around 90 to 100MW and funding has been secured for that.

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