Africa-focused transitional energy company Chariot and French renewable power producer Total Eren have announced plans to co-develop a solar photovoltaic power plant in Zimbabwe. The future solar plant will power the operations of the Karo Platinum project which is under development in Mashonaland West province.
Chariot and Total Eren have agreed to collaborate on the development, financing, construction, and operation of the solar project, pursuant to a partnership entered into in November last year. The solar PV plant is expected to have an installed capacity of 30 MWp at the initial stage, with a potential extension of up to 300 MWp.
The construction of the Karo Platinum project has been recently started within the Great Dyke in Mashonaland West by the South African mining company, Tharisa Minerals. Total Eren and Karo Mining Holdings, the owner of Karo Platinum site, have previously signed a long-term power purchase agreement for the supply of electricity. Karo and the mine project partners will now pursue the further steps of developing the solar project.
The power generated from the solar plant will be fed into the national grid and Karo project shareholders will have a wheeling agreement to buy it back off the grid. The rates of this solar power generation are significantly lower than the current power costs obtainable from the grid.
Fabienne Demol, Executive VP & Global Head of Business Development of Total Eren, said, the solar plant will enable the Karo Platinum Mine to be supplied in low-carbon electricity, reducing its carbon footprint and producing a competitive source of power supply in Zimbabwe. She also expressed to launch more renewable energy projects in this Southern African country.
Benoit Garrivier, Chariot Transitional Power CEO, said, their partnership with Total Eren on this new project has advanced them towards the joint objective of delivering a 1 GW clean energy pipeline and developing some of the largest sustainable power projects in the continent. With the start of Karo project’s construction, Chariot looks forward to implement the solar PV plant build in due course.
Bernard Pryor, MD of Karo Mining Holdings, said, as part of their sustainable development plan, green power have been always placed at the forefront of their energy strategy. A location has been selected close to the Karo Mine for the development of this power strategy, keeping in mind the future broader power strategy that will be developed with the project partners and the Government of Zimbabwe.