French energy company, Hydrogène de France (HDF Energy) has reached a further step in the development of Zimbabwe’s first high-powered green hydrogen power plant, following the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Zimbabwe’s state electricity utility, Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company (ZETDC), last week.
The parties signed the MoU for Middle Sabi Renewstable power plant at the International Renewable Energy Conference in Victoria Falls during a ceremony presided by the President of Zimbabwe, Emerson Mnangagwa.
The MoU creates a framework for the joint technical and administrative work to complete the development of this first green hydrogen power plant investment in Zimbabwe, as well as the commercialization of its electricity and grid services, through a dedicated Power Purchase Agreement.
“The signing today is a key step in our engagement with the ZETDC for the project, that demonstrates the commitment of HDF to invest in the development work required to reach a bankable power purchase agreement with the utility. HDF expects to reach financial close on the project and start construction in 2024/2025,” said Nicolas Lecomte, HDF Director for Southern and East Africa.
HDF Energy is developing the Middle Sabi Renewstable® in the Chipinge District, Manicaland Province in Zimbabwe. The project is located in the southeast part of Zimbabwe, very far from the country’s largest generation assets in the northwest. Benefits are thus created by locating generation of stable and dispatchable renewable energy closer to the demand load centers thus reducing transmission losses and increasing access to electricity for the local population.
The plant will produce green power 24/7 feeding into the grid through the Middle Sabi Substation located 4 km from the project site. The annual electric production will be 178 GWh, providing electricity to more than 220,000 inhabitants. Middle Sabi Renewstable® is being developed within the multi-project, multi-technology, multi-investor Chipangayi Renewable Energy Technology Park (RETPark). RETPark has been under development since 2016, and has obtained all the initial permitting and studies to allow fast development of tenant investments.
“This is an encouraging milestone for ZETDC as it comes at a time when the Government is encouraging the transition to renewable energy. We are currently implementing initiatives to ensure security of electricity supply. Electricity is a key economic enabler, and we welcome such a partnership in a bid to bridge the demand/supply gap,” Engineer John Diya, who represented the Acting Managing Director of ZETDC.