A groundbreaking initiative is on the horizon as 27 Independent Power Producers (IPPs) gear up to roll out pilot projects aimed at generating 1,100 MW at a cost of US$1 billion. This move comes as part of a concerted effort to implement a standardized implementation agreement, signaling a significant stride in advancing Zimbabwe’s energy landscape. According to an official statement, the pilot projects will play a crucial role in laying the foundation for the broader deployment of the agreement.
Last year, Professor Mthuli Ncube, the Minister of Finance, Economic Development, and Investment Promotion, revealed that these projects had garnered support through the Government Implementation Agreement (GIA). The objective is to bolster a reliable and sustained energy supply, a pivotal factor for fostering economic growth, aligning with the goals outlined in the National Development Strategy 1 (NDS 1).
As outlined in NDS 1, Zimbabwe aims to generate 3,500 MW by 2025, positioning the country on the path to achieving an upper-middle-income economy by 2030. However, challenges, particularly funding constraints, have hindered the progress of many of the over 100 IPPs licensed by the Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority (Zera) since 2010.
To expedite investments by IPPs, the government is directing its focus, particularly on solar projects. The Government Implementation Agreement encompasses three pivotal components: the project development support agreement, power purchase agreement, and Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) Undertaking for foreign currency convertibility and transfer.
Eddington Mazambani, the CEO of Zera, highlighted the significant progress made after the projects received support under the GIA. He explained that the vetting process had identified specific projects earmarked for piloting. This pilot phase aims to analyze the impact of government intervention through the Government Implementation Agreement—a crucial step in advancing Zimbabwe’s energy generation capabilities.