Construction of the 178MW RioZim solar power plant in Zimbabwe is set to begin soon. The company is currently in the process of selecting an EPC (engineering, procurement and construction) contractor for the project.
According to RioZim chairman Rashid Beebeejaun, the RioZim solar power plant project will commence once an energy uptake agreement has been completed with the Zimbabwe Electricity Distribution Company (ZETDC). “The company obtained independent power producer (IPP) licenses for the solar power projects for each operating location. The company is progressing with selecting an EPC contractor whilst awaiting finalisation of power purchase agreements with ZETDC,” he said.
Meanwhile, RioZim has revealed that its 2800MW Sengwa Power Station has been constrained by funding issues. “The efforts to secure financing to commence Phase 1 of the project were significantly hampered by the uncertainties presented by the Covid-19 pandemic,” said Mr Beebeejaun. He further added that the company is focused on advancing the financing arrangements in order to make positive progress on the power station. RioZim, through Rio Energy Ltd, owns coal mining claims at Sengwa in Gokwe.
Sengwa coal project
The Sengwa Coal Deposit is situated in North Western Zimbabwe, 450km from Harare, with proven ore reserves in excess of 525 million tones. The power station project is based on a coal resource of 1.3bn tonnes, capable of generating up to 2,000MW of power, almost as much as Zimbabwe’s total installed capacity.
The proposed project envisages the construction of a number of smaller power plants over the next ten years. In order to achieve this goal, RioEnergy is in the process bringing in technical partners to help construct the power station.