UK firm to develop 600 MW Zimbabwean plants

Zimbabwean solar developer Twalumba Holdings has reportedly signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with a British company to develop eight solar farms totaling 600 MW in the African country.

With the dust settling on recent elections which again confirmed President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu-PF party as the government and which were widely regarded as rigged, Zimbabwean newspaper The Herald has reported a solar development deal worth US$1.6bn with the UK-based Thompson Cole Consortium.

Yesterday’s newspaper report stated Thompson Cole – through Chinese solar subsidiary Sun Gen and UK financing arm Belm Am – will develop eight $200m, 75 MW plants in rural locations.

Protracted negotiations

The article quoted Twalumba executive chairman Nkululeko Sibanda, speaking at the signing of the MoU in Harare on Wednesday. Dr Sibanda reportedly spoke of the culmination of ‘protracted negotiations’ and of the desire to start work with the relevant departments of the incoming government.

The Twalumba chairman also spoke of how the projects will help deliver President Mugabe’s call to ’empower communities and create employment’.

The Herald report stated each of the eight PV projects will be 1.8km by 1km in size and will take 15 months to construct.