The government says US$50 million in potential revenue has been lost by ZESA following delays in the implementation of the Gwanda national solar project.
This was revealed when the Minister of Energy and Power Development, Advocate Fortune Chasi visited Gwanda this Friday to access progress made in the implementation of the national solar project.
US$5 million was released to Intratrek Zimbabwe between 2015 and 2016 for pre-commencement work, but over three years on, the project is still at initial stage.
Advocate Chasi, who was leading a delegation from his ministry, expressed shock and disappointment with the little work that has been done on site given the amount of money disbursed for the project.
The Minister also expressed disappointment at the lack of urgency given the crippling power shortages facing the country.
“This solar plant would have been commissioned around December 2017 and the delay has resulted in loss of sales by ZESA equivalent to 500 megawatts. This translates to revenue loss of about US$50 million as of June 2019,” said Minister Chasi.
The Minister also he said the 100 megawatts that are to be generated by the solar plant would have gone a long way in alleviating electricity shortages in the country.
Speaking at the same occasion, the Minister of State for Matabeleland South Provincial Affairs, Cde Abednico Ncube pleaded with the government to ensure that in future such critical projects are given to serious investors.
Meanwhile, the Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority (ZERA) will be reviewing licenses issued to players in the energy sector as government steps up efforts to increase power generation.
Independent players who also wish to invest in solar power have been invited by government to bring their applications for consideration.