Dubai’s AMEA Power partners with Africa GreenCo for Zimbabwe solar plant

AMEA Power, the UAE-based independent power producer, plans to build a 30MW solar plant in Zimbabwe in partnership with Africa GreenCo.

The company has signed an MoU at COP28 in Dubai with power utility ZESA and GreenCo, a UK-backed energy trader, to develop solar plants in the country. AMEA Power will begin with 30MW and increase capacity based on demand, chairman Hussain Al Nowais says. The project would cost about US$1 million per megawatt, which is “the rule of thumb we normally use … depending on the prices [and] the market conditions”, he said.

“Zimbabwe is a country rich with resources, whether it’s platinum or gold or zinc … [and] the mining industry desperately needs power.”

The project is part of an initiative launched by the UAE in September to invest US$4.5 billion in clean energy projects in Africa, Al Nowais said. The programme includes Abu Dhabi-based renewable energy company Masdar, ADFD, Etihad Credit Insurance, Amea Power and Africa50, the Africa Development Bank’s infrastructure arm.

Zimbabwe has licenced independent power producers with projects of a potential 7,000MW, but investors have stayed away due to currency uncertainty and tariff risks. To help manage the risk, Africa GreenCo signed a System Operations and Wheeling Agreement with ZESA, under which GreenCo will be able to trade the energy produced by companies such as AMEA in Zimbabwe.

“GreenCo’s mission is to tackle issues of creditworthiness, thereby spurring the growth of renewable energy markets,” GreenCo said, in a joint announcement with AMEA and ZESA. GreenCo is funded by InfraCo, part of the Private Infrastructure Development Group (PIDG), a venture jointly owned by the UK, Netherlands and other countries. 

Last year, Zimbabwe opened talks with the Dubai unit of SkyPower, a renewable energy projects developer, to build 500MW of solar plants in the country.

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