GIANT cement manufacturer, Pretoria Portland Cement (PPC) Zimbabwe, has secured an investor to build and operate a 32MW solar power plant in Colleen Bawn, Matabeleland South province.
The development of the solar project is aimed at providing the cement producer with 16MW while the remainder would be fed into the national grid.
Last year, PPC announced the intent to set up the solar power plant at its clinker factory in Colleen Bawn.
In an interview on the sidelines of the launch of the company’s new product launch, SURERANGE in Bulawayo last week, PPC head of operations Mr Marvellous Sibanda said:
“We ran a tender system and we have selected the prospective provider of the technology.
“We have signed everything, so now they are at the stage where they are raising the funding to implement the project.
“At the moment we can’t disclose but it’s a local company based here in Zimbabwe with technical partners in South Africa.”
He said 38 bidders drawn locally, regionally and in Europe responded to the tender from which the number was screened down to four,
“A number of them were constrained by the aspect that we want to be paying for the electricity in local currency,” said Mr Sibanda.
He said the plant will produce 32MW but the cement plant requires 16MW so the excess will be fed into the national grid.”
Mr Sibanda said the business model of the planned solar plant includes producing in excess of what PPC Zimbabwe requires.
He said the timeline for the construction of the solar project is 18 months from the conclusion of the funding arrangements.
PPC expects that in a month or so, they would be knowing whether the funding arrangements would have been concluded successfully.
Asked about how much funding was required for the project, Mr Sibanda said he cannot disclose such details as the investor was presently out in the market sourcing capital.
“Once we conclude this one successfully, we will do one here in Bulawayo and we have already done the ground work,” he said.