HDF to Develop 178 GWh Green Hydrogen Project in Zimbabwe

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The Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company (ZETDC) has signed a deal with French independent renewables firm HDF Energy for the development of the southern African country’s first green hydrogen power plant.

Signed by Engineer John Diya, Acting Managing Director of ZETDC and Nicolas Lecomte, Director, Southern and East Africa, HDF Energy, the agreement paves the way for the two parastatals to conduct joint technical and administrative works including carrying out feasibility studies for the utility-scale renewables project.

Set to be located in Middle Sabi in Zimbabwe’s Manicaland province, the project will strengthen energy security through the generation of 178 GWh of energy per annum – enough electricity to power 220,000 Zimbabwean households – which will be integrated into the main electricity network. Construction is expected to start in 2024/2025.

Comprising solar power generators, green hydrogen electrolyser, lithium battery energy storage systems and high-power fuel cells, the project will be developed as part of the Chipangayi Renewable Energy Technology Park (RETPark), kickstarted by the Zimbabwean government in 2016 to accelerate the penetration of renewables.

The hydrogen project falls in line with the government’s National Development Strategy 1 and Vision 2030 initiatives which aim for the deployment of up to 1,000 MW of solar capacity by independent power producers to address the electricity shortages in the country while creating new employment and skills development opportunities for local citizens.

“This is the first time we are taking a step to come up with an MoU between the utility and a technology developer. The plant will produce hydrogen 24/7, feeding into the grid through the Middle Sabi Power Station 4km away from the project site, with annual production of 178 GWh to supply 220,000 inhabitants. This investment will meaningfully contribute to the GDP growth of Manicaland, which has one of the lowest provincial GDP’s per capita in Zimbabwe. There will be a positive impact on livelihoods of the local community through the local jobs that will be created directly and indirectly, as well as HDF’s corporate and social responsibility initiatives,” stated Dr Gloria Magombo, Energy and Power Development Permanent Secretary, Zimbabwe.

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Nicholas Nhede

Nicholas Nhede

Nicholas is an energy sector journalist with a passion on how technology and diversification of the energy mix can be used to address energy sector challenges. Nicholas holds a diploma in Journalism and Communication studies and has been covering energy-related topics including the Internet of Things, distributed energy and digitalisation since 2015.

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