Government is finalising the Renewable Energy Policy and Independent Power Producer (IPP) framework which is set to enhance private sector participation in the sector, Energy and Power Development minister Samuel Undenge has said.
BY KENNETH NYANGANI
Speaking at the commissioning of Kupinga Hydro Power Station in Chipinge district last week, Undenge said there was need to promote renewable energy in the country.
The Kupinga hydro project, which was financed by financial services group, Old Mutual Zimbabwe, is delivering 1,6MW onto the national grid.
“We expect to see greater private sector involvement and participation at the numerous national dams which do exist in the country, as things stand, the potential is for such schemes to be developed at national 17 dams,’’ he said.
‘’Here in the Eastern Highlands, there are a number of potential sites as the Osborne Gairezi, Nyangombe, Kondo among others.’’
Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa, who was the guest of honour urged more IPPs to venture into the energy sector.
“Government undertook some reforms in the energy sector that also included liberalising the sector to allow for participation of Independent Power Producers,’’ he said.
“I am aware of the work that some of these private players have put into the projects. What we are witnessing today (Thursday) is the result of hard work that Old Mutual has put into the development of Kupinga Hydro Power Station.’’
Chinamasa said government was exploring ways of ensuring that people become productively employed wherever they happen to be living instead of flocking to the cities for jobs.
Zimbabwe has a power shortage of between 300MW and 600MW per day. The gap is being filled by imports from regional power utilities such as Eskom (South Africa) and Mozambican power utility, HCB.