Zimbabwe’s state-owned electricity distributor has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with French independent power producer HDF Energy to develop the southern African country’s first green hydrogen power plant, the companies said in a joint statement on Thursday. President Emmerson Mnangagwa witnessed the signing of the MoU worth $300 million between the Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company (ZETDC) and HDF Energy, Zimbabwe’s Ministry of Information said on Twitter.
“The plant will produce green power 24/7 feeding into the grid… The annual electric production will be 178 GWh, providing electricity to more than 220,000 inhabitants,” the statement said, adding that it will be located in southeastern Chipinge district. HDF said it expected to reach a financial close on the project and start construction in 2024-2025.
The signing of the MoU comes amid Zimbabwe’s bid to diversify its energy mix, following reduced power generation after a big drop in water levels in Lake Kariba. “This is an encouraging milestone for ZETDC as it comes at a time when the government is encouraging the transition to renewable energy,” engineer John Diya, who was representing the distributor’s acting managing director, said.
Zimbabwe’s government has also set its sights on producing over 1,000 megawatts from solar energy to help narrow the severe energy deficit currently being experienced in the country.
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