Image: Construction Review Online
Zimbabwe’s largest platinum producer, Zimplats, a subsidiary of Impala Platinum Holdings, has announced plans to build two solar power plants in the country’s Mashonaland West province with a combined power generation capacity of 185 MW.
The Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority announced on the 26th of July that it had received applications from Zimplats for the construction of a 105 MW solar power plant to power the company’s Ngezi operations, southwest of Harare, and an 80 MW solar power plant to supply its Selous operations.
The application stipulates that energy produced would be for Zimplat’s own consumption, and that the company would own, operate, and maintain the solar projects, which comes as part of the company’s growth strategy in Zimbabwe.
Previously reliant on power imports, Zimplats’ CEO, Nico Muller, announced earlier this year that the company will invest in solar energy to improve its energy security, stating, “In Zimbabwe, we are totally reliant on power generation from the Cahora Bassa scheme, so all our power there is renewable energy, so that’s probably the cleanest platinum being produced on the planet at the moment.”
As part of Zimbabwe’s plans to transition toward cleaner and more reliable energy, the government expects 100 MW of its power generation to derive from renewable sources, with a number of companies, such as Caledonia Mining, French renewable energy company, Voltalia, and gold producer, RioZim, announcing plans to construct their own renewable energy sources.