HomeNewsEU set to invest in Zim biogas project

EU set to invest in Zim biogas project


THE European Union (EU) has expressed interest establishing $1 million biogas plant in Mbare as government turns to renewable energy to tackle the perennial energy crisis, a government officials have said.

Report by Victoria Mtomba

Speaking at a two-day conference on energy efficiency and renewable energy, Energy and Power Development minister Elton Mangoma said government had plans to re-introduce biogas, which is currently being used on a small scale .

“We thought that Mbare vegetable market with all the vegetables that are thrown out every day we can get a big digester. The EU has expressed its interest to undertake this project,” Mangoma said
The permanent secretary in the Energy ministry Partson Mbiriri said the digester would cost $1 million to set up.

“We are waiting for a decision from the State Procurement Board, as we have gone to tender and we have done the adjudication process,” Mbiriri said.

Mbiriri said it took government a long time to start working on the biogas plant in Mbare.

“It has taken us a long time with councillors who were not enthusiastic on the project with some of them raising concerns that the biogas cylinder might explode at some time — that is the level of knowledge among some of our councillors, but they have been convinced after a long time,” he said.

The country has biogas digesters in Matabeleland North and South that were set up by the Roman Catholic Church, but are no longer operational. Biogas is a non-renewable energy that uses waste as a form of fuel. The renewable energy is mainly used for cooking and lighting.

Biogas is currently being used by institutions such as Harare Central Hospital, Chikurubi, Pig Industry Board and Roosevelt Girls High School.

Meanwhile, Mangoma said the restructuring of the power utility was expected to be complete this month.

“Institutional changes are coming this month and we will see the formal unbundling of Zesa so that Zesa Holdings will no longer exist, ”he said.

He added that a stand-alone electricity distribution company would be established to encourage private players’ participation in the sector.

The proposed restructuring will see ZETDC transforming into Zimbabwe Distribution Company responsible for the distribution of electricity, Zimbabwe Power Company, Zesa Enterprises Pvt Ltd (ZENT) and Powertel.

This would be the third time that Zesa Holdings would be restructuring after it was unbundled in 1997 and in 2006.

Mangoma said as of last Friday, national power output rose to
1 300 megawatts.

He said the country was working towards increasing energy production with Sino Hydro having already started work on Kariba expansion.

“Sino Hydro is already on site and work has already begun,” he said.

Mangoma added that the Batoka project was on course and it might extend to the Devil’s Gorge on built own transfer (BOT) basis.

“Expressions of interest have been made and we received 25 BOT interests and these are credible sources, ”he said.

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