Sunday Mail Reporter
Zimbabwe’s bio-diesel project is set to benefit from a US$12 million concessionary loan from IRENA’s Abu Dhabi Fund for Development.
The loan will finance the construction of a bio-diesel plant while additional Jatropha plants will be set out at Nyakadecha Estate in Mudzi.
The funding deal is likely to be concluded during the ongoing 10th Assembly of IRENA in Abu Dhabi, which is being attended by Energy and Power Development Minister Fortune Chasi.
In 2017, the Energy Conversation and Renewable Energy (ECRE) department in the Ministry of Energy and Power Development requested all parastatals under its jurisdiction to submit energy projects that were eligible for funding.
Finealt Engineering submitted the best viable project and Government facilitated its application for funding from IRENA in 2018.
The funding, however, failed to materialise as the guarantee from the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development, which was a requisite, failed to come on time.
In a statement, the Ministry of Energy and Power Development said there is fresh possibility for the project’s funding.
Read in statement in part: “Based on previous communication from IRENA, we have a fairly good chance to be announced and granted funding during the 10th Assembly. If otherwise, we will try again with additional projects.
“A notable event at this Assembly will be the announcement of governments and public entities that will be granted funding from the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD).”
The ministry added that the decision to re-submit the funding proposal was reached following Zimbabwe’s attendance of the IRENA Council and Assembly last year.
“In the 2019-2020 seventh funding cycle, the following milestones have been achieved. A project brief was submitted and accepted in February 2019, a full project proposal was submitted by June 2019, the Ministry successfully lobbied and got a letter of guarantee from the Ministry of Finance and the guarantee letter was submitted to IRENA in August 2019,” reads the statement.
“The Finealt Engineering Bio-diesel project has been shortlisted for funding as was communicated in November 2019.”
The US$12 million loan will mainly be used to procure capital equipment for the bio-diesel processing plant, develop the Nyakadecha Estate in Mudzi and plant additional Jatropha plants.
It has a repayment period of 20 to 25 years, with a five-year grace period on interest.
The IRENA ADFD funds small scale renewable energy projects ranging from US$5 to US$15 million.