VERIFY Engineering (VE), a government-owned entity, has been contracted to develop a 50 megawatts (MW) solar plant in Shangani by an unnamed local partner, board chairperson Edgar Kamusoko has revealed.
The Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority, according to Kamusoko, has already licensed the project.
“We have also opened another business unit under VE Energy. In VE Energy, we have the capacity to install solar plants. We also have the capacity to work on power projects to the extent of even installing huge MW projects,” Kamusoko told NewsDay Business.
“We are looking forward to developing the 50MW solar plant in Shangani with some partners who have contracted us to do their EPC (engineering, procurement and construction). We are not in a position to disclose who they are now but they are Zimbabweans.”
VE is a major producer of medical oxygen, acetylene and nitrogen gases, supplying customers in the healthcare, petrochemical refining, manufacturing, food, beverage, fibre-optics, steel manufacturing, aerospace, chemicals, and water treatment industries. It is also the biggest supplier of industrial gas in the country.
The firm launched its first strategic business unit in August 2021.
It was established in April 2005 with the support of the Higher and Tertiary Education, Innovation, Science and Technology Development ministry.
Kamusoko also disclosed that the business has significant contracts with the Mozambican government for the provision of medical oxygen.
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“We have already started exporting to Mozambique. We are now exporting our medical oxygen to Mozambique,” he said.
“Quite a number of companies have also been approaching us from outside and even the government of Mozambique itself and we are installing some tanks to be able to go and decant for our liquid oxygen in the hospitals in Mozambique in about four provinces and we have been given that contract.
“And we are working on that project together with the Ministry of Health of Mozambique and we will be supplying them soon once we are done with the installation of the tanks and the reticulation systems in the hospitals where we have already been given the contract as Verify Engineering.”
The chairperson stated that although they were not yet completely active in other countries, discussions with Botswana and Zambia were underway, adding that there were many opportunities for them to enter the regional market in a significant way.
“There are a lot of interesting enquiries and we are certain that very soon we will be broadening our market beyond just Mozambique,” he said.
The company has developed numerous businesses based on the technology it has domesticated. These are technologies that are already in use elsewhere in the world, but it brings them home and develops them to have complete control and charge of the entire process.
“So that we will not be affected by any other global (crisis) or even relations in other countries even if you're put under sanctions and things like that, we'll still be able to have full control of our technologies.
“So this is basically the thrust. So we are not reinventing the wheel. We are bringing home those technologies to help solve our national problems,” he said.
The company commissioned two gas plants in Feruka. The plants are producing 100% medical oxygen, nitrogen as well as acetylene.
At the Feruka gas plants, VE installed a 100KVA solar system which is supplementing energy demands to the air separation unit which does the production of gas, oxygen and nitrogen.
“So, that supplementary power that we generate from the solar system was done by us ourselves and then we also developed that capacity and said we are now capable of also entering the energy market.
“Because we know the energy requirements in the country, we also want to participate in playing a role and grow that industry in the energy sector which is part of the driver of industrialisation as well,” Kamusoko said.