Chinese firm wins photovoltaics contract

via Chinese firm wins photovoltaics contract – DailyNews Live Kudzai Chipamuriwo • 16 February 2016

HARARE – Chinese firm Ja Solar has won a contract to supply 100 megawatts (MW) of photovoltaic modules to one of the first three large-scale ground-mounted solar power facilities in Zimbabwe.

The projects will have a combined installed capacity of 300 MW and the three contractors for these projects are ZTE, China MCC17 Group and Intratrek Zimbabwe.

Ja Solar executive president Xie Jian said the company — one of the world’s largest manufacturers of high-performance solar power products — will supply its photovoltaic modules to China MCC17 Group for the project it is constructing.

“Zimbabwe was President Xi’s (Jinping) first stop during his official visit to Africa, signalling that both countries should expect to see greater cooperation in the field of renewable energy.

“Winning the contract to supply photovoltaic modules to the Zimbabwe project not only provides opportunities for JA Solar to establish stronger relationships in Zimbabwe but also helps lay a foundation for the company to develop relationships with other African countries,” he said.

Jian noted that the Nasdaq-listed solar firm will continue its commitment to providing higher-quality solar products for markets across the globe.

This comes after Zimbabwe last year granted three solar companies the greenlight to set up solar farms in the country in an effort to reduce load shedding. The power plants will be located in Munyati, Insukamini and Gwanda.

The three projects involve a total photovoltaic module contract value of $544 million. The projects are scheduled to commence construction near the end of 2016 and are expected to be completed by the end of 2017.

Zimbabwe, like many countries in sub-Saharan Africa, faces a severe shortage of electricity. Currently, the majority of the country’s electricity is supplied by one large thermal power station, three smaller thermal power stations and a hydropower station.

These power plants are failing to meet the country’s electricity demand, as nearly a half of the power generation units have been out of service for several years.

This, coupled with inordinate consumption of electricity by mining companies, has resulted in sweeping blackouts in cities across the country.

Over the past two years, the Zimbabwean government has speeded up the construction of power projects, including the three large-scale ground-mounted photovoltaic power plants.

In an era where governments across the globe have been increasingly focused on the development of renewable energy, businesses that can meet this growing need will be faced with greater opportunities.