Solar panels making a solar plant

Singapore power firm to build 200MW solar plant in Zimbabwe

SINGAPORE-based company, AF Power Pte Ltd, is working on investing in a 200MW solar power plant in which the first phase is earmarked for Umguza District in Matabeleland North Province.

This was revealed in a joint press release by the company and the Zimbabwe Investment and Development Agency (ZIDA).

AF Power is an Independent Power Producer based in Singapore with group companies also involved in agriculture, mining, and oil and gas exploration in Africa.

The first phase of the solar power plant project will see AF Power invest in a 50MW Solar Plant in Umguza near Bulawayo by 2022. Construction is expected to begin before the end of this year, according to Jonathan Chalk, AF Power’s Business Development Executive and the country head of Zimbabwe.

There is, however, commitment by AF Power to invest in a total 200MW of solar power over the next three years, reads part of the statement released on Wednesday.

Away from the power project, Chalk said AF Power is also facilitating a virtual workshop between ZIDA and the Republic of Zimbabwe and the Singapore Cooperation Enterprise (SCE).

The two entities signed a co-operation agreement on Wednesday to enhance the capacity to promote mutual investment interests. The agreement was signed by ZIDA chief executive officer, Douglas Munatsi and his SCE counterpart, Kong Wy Mun.

The business workshop is aimed at sharing Singapore’s experience in investment promotion, economic zone development and operations with ZIDA and the Republic of Zimbabwe, he said.

“The Singapore Cooperation Enterprise (SCE) is an agency formed by the Ministry of Trade and Industry and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Singapore to respond effectively to the many foreign requests and to tap on Singapore’s development experience.

“SCE’s primary role is to serve as the focal point of access for foreign parties interested in adopting Singapore’s public sector expertise for their development journey,” said Chalk in a speech at the signing of a cooperation agreement between SCE and ZIDA.

The cooperation agreement has been described by ZIDA chief executive officer, Munatsi, as “historic” and an “apprenticeship with the best in the game”.

The collaboration between SCE and ZIDA is expected to result in sharing experience in investment promotion, special economic zone development, and capacity building.

“SCE aims to be the key vehicle for exporting Singapore’s public sector expertise and to ensure that requests for Singapore’s public sector expertise are met with the highest standards,” Chalk said.

He added that SCE works closely with Singapore’s 15 Ministries and over 60 Statutory Boards to customise solutions for its foreign partners.

Speaking during the signing ceremony, Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister Frederick Shava thanked the Singaporeans for agreeing to assist Zimbabwe.

“I would like to express our deep appreciation to the SCE for the interest to cooperate with Zimbabwe in building the capacity of ZIDA to be able to effectively execute its mandate of promoting investment and the development of Zimbabwe.

“This is testimony to the commitment by the Government of Singapore to facilitate increased business engagements between Singapore and Zimbabwe.

“As the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, I look forward to facilitating increased economic and commercial diplomacy with Singapore in the fields of trade and investment,” Shava said. □

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