The Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority (ZERA) says the country requires a total of $15 billion to rehabilitate existing power plants and develop new energy projects in order to meet the demand projected at 5500mw by 2030.

This comes as Zimbabwe is considering several funding options in order to increase investments in the energy sector with current proposals by domestic and foreign investors showing that the future of the energy supply is much brighter.

According to ZERA, the huge interest in the sector is encouraging with a number of energy projects including the $1.5 billion Hwange 7 and 8 expansion at different levels of execution.

ZERA CEO, Engineer Gloria Magombo said of the $15 billion required for the rehabilitation of existing plants and development of new energy projects, the bulk of the investments is expected to come from public private partnerships and independent power producers.

“Around $15 billion is required to finance the rehabilitation of existing and development of new energy projects in order to meet the expected 5500mw capacity by 2030.  Already, around $2 billion has been committed under the Hwange and Kariba expansion projects,” she said.

According to ZERA, going forward, stable macroeconomic policies and a strong legal framework, stable multi-currency regime, policy consistency and political commitment will be critical in ensuring the success of the independent power producers’ projects.

World Federation of Engineering Organisations (WFEO) Vice President, Engineer Martin Manuhwa highlighted the need for Zimbabwe to embrace innovative financing mechanisms and technology in order to accelerate infrastructure development.

Meanwhile, the latest BMI research paper on regional trends and Zimbabwe economic outlook highlights that plans to increase private participation in the power sector in Zimbabwe presents positive prospects to the country’s power sector.

The leading research firm also highlighted that project pipeline reflects efforts to address two key business constraints; electricity supply and transportation costs.