Michael Magoronga, Midlands Correspondent
FERTILISER producer, Sable Chemicals, is carrying out a feasibility study with a view of constructing a 400MW solar plant in a bid to curb power shortages and reduce harmful emissions.
If successful, the solar plant will be able to power the electrolysis plant as well as feed into the national greed.
Sable Chemicals switched off its electrolysis plant in 2015 as a way of preserving power and feeding more power into the national grid.
Speaking during a Kwekwe Business Conference at Kwekwe Polytechnic College last week, Sable Chemicals senior executive-special projects, Mr Allan Manhanga, said plans were at an advanced stage for the company to be energy self-reliant.
“As Sable Chemicals we are looking at a feasibility study to put a 400MW plant at our Kwekwe plant.
The idea is that we will use about 100MW for the electrolysis plant and we feed the rest into national greed,” he said.
Mr Manhanga said the move will also see the company starting to produce ammonium nitrate, which it is currently importing from neighbouring South Africa.
“That way, we are able to regain local production capacity of the key raw material, which is ammonia.
It will also go a long way in ensuring that we produce the raw material in a sustainable manner that reduces emissions.
“Using renewables, we create green fertilisers and ensure food security in a sustainable manner.”
The Sable Chemical electrolysis plant consumes more power and the company had been depending on imports since the switching off of the plant.
Mr Manhanga said the company has also taken steps to mitigate the production of greenhouse gas as well as reduce emissions from fossils the plant uses in line with climate change mitigation efforts.
Speaking at the same occasion, Kwekwe Polytechnic vice-principal, Eng Cathrine Moyo, said it was high time tertiary institutions expand their curricula to offer more training in renewable forms of energy.
“This can only be successful if formidable alliances are formed with related and relevant stakeholders.
The industry and the corporate world need to be aggressive now and invest in renewable energies by erecting renewable energy power plants to suit their different needs,” said Eng Moyo.
She said Kwekwe Poly had made significant strides in embracing renewable energy systems.
“Already, Kwekwe Polytechnic has made significant progress in embracing types of renewable energy by facilitating the training of solar-thermal power installation technicians who have been equipped with necessary skills.
“We also look forward to going green with our hostels by making them solar powered,” she said.
Held under the theme: “Enhancing alternative energy sources for Kwekwe and beyond”, the expo saw one energy expert after another speaking about the need to seriously consider renewables as the nation seeks ways to reduce emissions and climate change effects.
The event was organised by Kwekwe Publicity Association who also organise the Kwekwe Expo.