Ishemunyoro Chingwere Business Reporter
Government has urged the private sector to consider financing renewable power generation projects, as the sector has high returns due to the power deficit that has dogged Zimbabwe and Southern Africa in general.
The call was made by Energy and Power Development Deputy Minister Magna Mudyiwa on the sidelines of a Renewable Energy Expo and Conference which was organised by Zimpapers’ Bold Ads Events under the theme: “The Status of Energy in Zimbabwe and Innovative Alternatives.”
The Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority (ZERA) has to date issued 42 independent solar power producer licences as part of Government’s efforts to boost renewable power production, but of those, only nine have commenced site works.
The rest of the projects appear to be struggling with getting the requisite financing, while at the same time Government is worried some could be holding on to the licences for speculative reasons.
In an interview on the sidelines of the expo and conference, Deputy Minister Mudyiwa said energy or power was an area where investment returns were almost guaranteed due to the high demand of power.
“Many companies have acquired licences with Zera for power projects, but they were just acquiring these licences with no funding,” he said.
“So, we are encouraging financiers with money to consider this sector for their loans.
“(Power projects) have very good returns that financial institutions are looking for.
“You can’t go wrong with power generation because we have a very big deficit of electricity, and the deficit is not only in Zimbabwe by the way, it’s across the region, so power is actually an export industry.”
The call by Deputy Minister Mudyiwa was is in line with Government’s economic blueprint, the Transitional Stabilisation Programme, that emphasises the need for up-scaling private sector participation and investment for economic revival.
Deputy Minister Mudyiwa called on licence holders to do their part in making a compelling case for their projects to financiers through bankable submissions.
“Those with licences should also do their part and approach financiers,” she said.
“They also should come up with bankable submissions that are compelling for the investor so that they can access the loans and fund their projects.”