Old Mutual invests US$40m into green energy

Old Mutual marketing, public affairs and sustainability executive Lillian Mbayiwa

DIVERSIFIED financial services group, Old Mutual Limited Zimbabwe, has invested US$40 million into green energy projects, including deployments into power plants that are under construction, businessdigest can report.

Green energy investments, according to Old Mutual marketing, public affairs and sustainability executive Lillian Mbayiwa, are part of a bigger picture where “we are focussing on responsible investments that generate sustainable risk-adjusted returns.

“We have commissioned a solar plant,  Solgas in Hwange, and a hydropower plant, Kupinga in Chipinge, generating a combined energy of 6,6 megawatts (MW),” Mbayiwa said this week. “We also have other solar and hydro-power projects under construction in various parts of the country with a combined generating capacity of 35MW.

“The group to date has invested US$40 million into green energy projects including deployments into power plants that are under construction.”

These projects, Mbayiwa said, include the Great Zimbabwe Hydro-power Plant in Masvingo, Centragrid Solar project in Nyabira, Richaw Solar Project in Gwanda, and Mutual Gardens Solar plant in Harare.

The green energy projects are expected to help Zimbabwe address power shortages. Zimbabwe wants to expand its net metering system to harness more renewable energy to the grid in the face of electricity shortages.

In 2022, energy supply in Zimbabwe was a mix of hydropower (68,17%) coal and renewable energy sources (31,83%), according to the Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority. Over the past five years, independent power producers have explored alternative energy sources, such as solar, wind, geothermal, biofuels and biomass.

In 2021, the government rolled out the National Development Strategy (NDS) 1 to increase power supply from the current installed capacity of 2 317MW to 3 467MW by 2025, with 1 100MW expected from renewable energy sources.

“We are engaging authorities and our regulators for the requisite approvals prior to the launch of the ( US$100 million for energy projects) fund,” she said.

The fund, as first reported by businessdigest in April this year, will set aside US$30 million for supporting renewable energy projects, according to Davies Musoso, head of alternative investments at Old Mutual.

He said Old Mutual would be bringing in other parties and pension funds to underpin the programme. To secure commitments, Musoso said the firm would combine its strategy to work with pension funds with approaching regional financiers.

Mbayiwa said: “O’mari continues to be an open ecosystem that is mobile network and bank agnostic, allowing customers to register seamlessly on any mobile network of their choice in Zimbabwe.”

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