Solar energy company De Green Rhino Energy has embarked on a 2,500 megawatt project aimed at easing Zimbabwe’s power shortages

Construction of the first phase and pilot project of the $5.2bn facility, which will have several power stations dotted across the country, is set to start in Marondera early next month.

The $400m Marondera project at Rufaro Farm, will contribute 150 megawatts to the national grid before the end of the year.

De Green Rhino’s chief officer Francis Gogwe said, that if things went to plan, Zimbabwe would be self-sufficient in energy within 10 to 15 years.

“I hope we have finally found a lasting solution to Zimbabwe’s power problems,” said Gogwe. “We are identifying other sites for the project across the country.”

De Green Rhino Energy is working with a local company, De Opper Trading, and with Green Rhino Energy, a UK based power company run by German solar experts.

Construction and completion of the power plant is also expected to create local jobs and improve the infrastructure of the area.

Load shedding would be a thing of the past, said Gogwe, enabling industry and the agriculture sectors to operate at full capacity.

Zimbabwe generates around 1,200 megawatts of power against a daily need of 2,200.

As part of efforts to boost power supplies, Zimbabwe and the China Export and Import Bank recently signed a $355m loan agreement for the expansion of the Kariba South hydro power station. This would boost the station’s power generation capacity from 750 to more than 1,000 mega watts.