PPC goes for solar for factories
Harare, (New Ziana) – Cement maker, PPC Zimbabwe said on Tuesday it is targeting to enter into a partnership with investors for the provision of up to 16 megawatts of power through solar energy for its two plants in Bulawayo.
This is intended to ensure uninterrupted supplies to the company’s plants which have been equally affected by the prevailing power shortages in the country.
Power utility, Zesa Holdings has since mid-this year been forced to ration power as production at its main hydro-power plant dwindled due to water shortages, while the main thermal station, due to old age, experiences constant break downs.
PPC Zimbabwe, via an expression of interest, said it wanted to get into a solar power purchase agreement, with a firm that is able to provide a combined 28 hours battery backup cover for its two plants, one in Colleen Bawn and the other in Bulawayo.
The two plants have combined annual capacity to produce 760 000 tonnes
As part of its drive to use renewable energy, the company is interested in harnessing solar energy at its Colleen Bawn and Bulawayo factories,” the cement maker said.
The power purchase agreement will be for a minimum of 20 years, with the cement maker providing land for the solar plant.
PPC Zimbabwe said the Colleen Bawn plant consumes about 11MW and will
require a battery backup to cover at least 16 hours while the Bulawayo
factory requires five MW and a back up of 12 hours.
Besides those two plants, the cement maker also runs a third plant in Harare.
A growing number of companies in the country have been forced to invest
in alternative power solutions given the unreliability of supplies from the
national power utility.