12 November 2019

The Gwanda solar plant project in Zimbabwe has
received US $14m from African Transmission Corporation (ATC) Holdings to finance part of phase two of the project.

According to the agreement, the funds will finance
the first 10MW of the project under a phased construction model. According to
the Herald, the financing from ATC presents alternative source of funding for
the Gwanda project, which has been delayed by financial resource constraints
and also further weighed down by the contractual dispute between the parties,
which has spilled into the courts.

The Gwanda project developers, Intratrek Zimbabwe,
said that progress on the Centragrid project attested to ATC’s capability to
also progress Gwanda, which will be developed in phases.

“The 10MW, upon commissioning, would act as
successful precedent upon which financing for the balance of 90MW would be
mobilised,” said Intratrek.

The Gwanda project involves construction of a 100MW
solar power plant. Phase one of the project saw 25MW Centragrid Photo
Voltaic project in Nyabira, enter commercial operations in August, 2019. Phase
two of 22.5MW will commence shortly once funder’s due diligence is completed.

Upon completion, around 2,800 households in Gwanda
South, Zimbabwe, are set to benefit from the solar power project which will
power three irrigation schemes, a clinic as well as five business centres.

The project, jointly funded by the European Union, United Nations Development Programme, OPEC Fund for International Development, and Global Environmental Facility is being implemented by Practical Action, SNV, CARD and Dabane Trust, with the support of government ministries and departments.

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