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Week in Africa: Zimplats to Invest in 185 MWp of Solar Power; COPERES and ARE Join Hands to Boost RE Electrification in Senegal and More


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Zimplats to Invest in 185 MWp of Solar Power Zimbabwe Under a Major Capex Plan

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Zimbabwe’s largest platinum producer, Zimplats will soon deploy two solar power plants with a generation capacity of 185 MWp for its mining operations. Zimplats plans to invest up to USD 201 million to build its solar power facilities, under an investment strategy set to finance about USD 1.8 billion in capital projects over a 10-year period. The Zimbabwean subsidiary of South African mining company Impala Platinum, Zimplats aims to rely on solar power to expand its mining operations in the country, upgrading its sites and maintaining its production levels. The budget approved by the Board of Directors will aid in the development of solar power plants near Ngezi mine and Selous complex, both located in Mashonaland West province. Zimplats has already submitted applications for the approval of the project to the Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority (ZERA). The project involves the deployment of two solar PV plants, with the larger one of 105 MWp capacity to be installed in the Ngezi mine to support mining operations and power concentrators. The second power plant with a capacity of about 80 MWp will be developed near Selous town where it will power a smelter and concentrator.

COPERES and ARE Join Hands to Boost Renewable Electrification in Senegal

The Business Council of Renewable Energies of Senegal (COPERES) and Alliance for Rural Electrification (ARE) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to facilitate the electrification of rural areas in Senegal. The deal sets out the shared goals of both the organizations to address the existing obstacles which retard the optimal use of the various renewable energies for electrification and the potential for energy efficiency in the country. COPERES and ARE will be working together on joint advocacy for renewable energy policies in Senegal leading to a favorable market environment for renewable sector players and achieving renewable energy targets. Both the organizations intend to provide business development services in order to address the challenges of electrification, energy security, and climate change.

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Sunna Design Signs €40 Million Contract for Solar Street Lights in Togo

French solar management company Sunna Design has signed a contract with the Togolese government to supply and install solar street lamps in the rural areas of Togo. The contract was signed on the sidelines of the Paris visit of President Faure Gnassingbé in April this year. The contract valued at €40 million involves the supply and installation of 50,000 connected solar street lamps in several thousand non-electrified rural villages including the maintenance and related services for 12 years, under a public-private partnership (PPP).

Pioneering Solar Project in Chad Attracts New Lenders

The African Development Bank (AfDB), Proparco, and Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund (EAIF), a part of the Private Infrastructure Development Group (PIDG), have committed €36.6 million funds for the construction of the Djermaya Solar project in Chad. The 34 MW project will also include a 4 MWh battery system. AfDB, Proparco, and EAIF signed a loan agreement with the Djermaya solar project, providing the financing facility of €18 million, €9.3 million, and €9.3 million, respectively, as the senior debt to the project. AfDB previously approved €18 million debt facilities and a partial risk guarantee in the year 2019. The funding forms a part of the overall package of climate commitments PIDG promised at COP26 in November. The solar project is also a part of AfDB’s Desert to Power initiative.

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Oikocredit Provides Loan to Support Solar Energy Growth in Africa

Social impact investor Oikocredit is providing a credit line of EUR 2 million to Spark, a company focused on the supply of pay-as-you-go (PAYGO) off-grid modular solar solutions and appliances. This credit line will support Spark in providing the infrastructure for electricity access in sub-Saharan Africa, elevating the living standard of an estimated 500,000 under-served households. The credit line will enable Spark to provide low-income people in the sub-Saharan region with access to renewable energy as well as the path to own off-grid solar-powered systems that can be extended to fit the growing energy needs of the users. Access to clean and reliable electricity will support improving living standards, increasing earning potential, and achieving lives of greater dignity for the people in the region.

Engie PowerCorner to Install Solar Mini-Grids in Benin

The Beninese Agency for Rural Electrification and Energy Management (ABERME) has granted French group Engie’s subsidiary, Engie PowerCorner, a license to install solar mini-grids in Dohouè in southern Benin. The containerized mini-grid system is expected to be powerful enough to provide an electricity supply for 1,500 people. Engie PowerCorner is strengthening its position in Africa and already installed its containerized solar mini-grids systems in the rural areas of several African countries. The project in Dohouè is the first of a series of stand-alone solar systems that will be installed in Benin in the coming months. The company has planned to build and operate 22 containerized solar mini-grids in rural areas of the country by 2023. These installations will have a total capacity of 2.4 MWp and can provide electricity to 30,000 people in three departments of Benin.

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