- The government of Zimbabwe has announced the development of its first utility-scale geothermal energy prject under an independent power producer (IPP) arrangement.
- The project will involve the design, construction, financing, operation, and maintenance of a 10MW geothermal power plant, located in the Chimbwatata Hot Springs in Binga District of Zimbabwe.
- The announcement was made by the country’s Climate Change Management Department (CCMD).
Binary cycle geothermal technology was considered best and appropriate based on the proposed site conditions, which produces electricity as well as the potential exploitation of waste heat as an additional revenue stream, said the department. Electricity generated will be distributed through a transmission line under the responsibility of Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company (ZETDC), they added.
The project is unlikely to see any progress past the tender stage as Zimbabwe has a massive sovereign debt problem and struggles to pay for imported power from Mozambique, Zambia and South Africa. With no sovereign debt default cover for the off-taker, banks, and institutional funders, will not offer finance for the project. This may leave it up to a foreign government like China bartering a deal for mineral rights extraction as has been the case in the past. Read more
The Zimbabwe government is riddled with corruption and generation projects like this are regularly announced as populist rhetoric. Very few projects actually get constructed. Read more
Author: Bryan Groenendaal