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Capital constraints hinder RioZim’s solar projects

By Business Reporter – Tuesday 13 October 2020

HARARE (Mining Index) – RIOZIM says capital constraints will be the primary challenge towards funding of its 178 MW solar project expected to power its mining operations in the gold and diamond sector.

The remainder of the electricity will be sold to the Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company (ZETDC), and is anticipated to meet 10 percent of Zimbabwe’s power demand.

In recent years, RioZim cited acute electricity challenges as one of the bottlenecks affecting its operations.

“The Company has received four Independent Power Producer (IPP) licences for the establishment of solar farms at Cam & Motor Mine, Renco Mine, Dalny Mine and Murowa Diamonds Mine,”

“The Company has proceeded to apply for a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with ZETDC. Currently, the Company is in the process of selecting an Engineering Procurement and Construction (EPC) firm whilst discussions for funding are in progress,”

“Financing will be the primary challenge,” said Saleem Beebeejaun, RioZimb chairman while presenting the company’s half year financial results FY2020 ended June.

In May 2018, RioZim signed a US$210 million agreement with Chinese infrastructure development company, China Gezhouba Group International Engineering Corporation (CGGC) towards the construction of solar power plants with combined output of 178 megawatts.

The RioZim solar project will also include construction of 132 kV transmission lines from all proposed solar plants to the respective substations. ENDS//

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