Zanzibar to produce its own power

FOR the first time ever, Zanzibar will start generating its own electricity, a move which will reduce dependence on power transported from Tanzania Mainland.

This comes after the Zanzibar government on Monday signed a contract with investors to generate 180MW from solar energy.

The Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) was signed here between Generation Capital Limited (GCL), and the state-owned Zanzibar Electricity Corporation (ZECO).

The investment will be done in partnership between the GCL, a Mauritian-based project development and investment firm and the local company, Taifa Energy which is part of the renowned Taifa Group.

Currently, the Indian Ocean semi-autonomous archipelagos receive about 130MW from the Mainland’s Tanzania Electric Supply Company (TANESCO).

Speaking after the signing of the agreement, Zanzibar Minister for Water, Energy and Minerals, Mr Shaibu Hassan Kaduara said: “Today is part of our huge  happiness…Zanzibar is going to become independent in power production.”

The 180MW Solar PV Project, worth 330bn/-, is expected to revolutionise Zanzibar’s energy landscape and will ensure the reliable supply of clean and renewable power to the citizens of Zanzibar, the tourism and other industries and will pave the way for a sustainable future.

The Revolutionary Government of Zanzibar, through the Zanzibar Investment Promotion Authority (ZIPA), granted GCL strategic investor status following their successful application to invest in Zanzibar, proposing multi-phase 180-megawatt renewable energy facilities in various strategically identified locations in Zanzibar.

The visionary project will be completed on a fast track to ensure the creation of jobs and sustainable development in key sectors depending on reliable and affordable power supply.

The project will be built in phases and will commence with the expedited construction of a 30 MW Solar PV power plant at Bambi, Central District in South Unguja Region that will be completed in 2024.

The GCL and their local partner Taifa Group plan to implement the subsequent phases quickly: the current lack of reliable power creates suppressed demand and limits economic growth in Zanzibar.

This project will provide an immediate boost to Zanzibar’s renewable energy capacity, contributing significantly to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and the overall development of Zanzibar.

Generation Capital Limited and Taifa Group will also incorporate advanced Battery Energy Storage Systems into later phases of the project, ensuring reliable and efficient energy supply during evening peak demand.

“We are thrilled to announce this landmark partnership with the ZECO for the first-ever utility-scale solar PV project in Zanzibar,” said Mr Rostam Aziz, Chairman of Taifa Group.

He added: “This project represents a significant milestone in our commitment to renewable energy development in Zanzibar and the continent as a whole.”

Through the partnership, Zanzibar will have access to inexpensive, clean, and reliable power infrastructure that, in turn, will quickly foster economic growth and the betterment of the quality of life for all citizens.”

Generation Capital Limited and Taifa Group’s investment in Zanzibar’s solar PV infrastructure aligns with the country’s vision.

The integration of solar PV into Zanzibar’s energy mix supports the Blue Economy agenda enhancing energy security, diversifying the energy mix, and promoting sustainable development.

The signing of the PPA signifies the collective dedication and determination of all parties involved to accelerate the energy transition in Zanzibar.

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