ZAMBIA – Turkey’s Yeo has unveiled plans to invest US$65 million in constructing a photovoltaic solar power plant with an electricity storage system in Zambia.

Francesca Chisangano Zyambo, Permanent Secretary of the Zambian Ministry of Energy, and executives from Yeo and GEI Power recently discussed the project.

The approved project entails building a 60 MWp photovoltaic solar power plant in Zambia’s Choma district with a 20 MWh battery storage system. Yeo, in partnership with GEI of Zambia, is spearheading this initiative.

“The project will stimulate economic activities in the Choma district through Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives, close collaboration with local communities, and the employment of 150 local workers during construction and around 50 seasonal employees once operational,” explained Ignatius Anayawa, GEI’s Managing Director.

The future electricity infrastructure aims to supply at least 65,000 Zambian households. Through this project, Yeo’s Vice President of Business Development, Yasin Duven, emphasized their commitment to sustainable development in Zambia.

This investment comes as Zambia seeks to diversify its electricity sources amid challenges posed by hydroelectricity dependence, which has been impacted by recent droughts.

To mitigate this, Zambia has increasingly turned to solar energy, with several solar power stations inaugurated in the Copperbelt region, the country’s primary mining hub in the central north, bordering the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

Voltalia Secures 130 MWp solar power PPP in Tunisia

In other news, French independent power producer (IPP) Voltalia has been awarded a contract for 130 MWp of solar power under a public-private partnership (PPP) in the Gafsa region of Tunisia.

Voltalia’s involvement marks a significant step in revitalizing Tunisia’s Solar Plan (PST). The company recently secured the contract to construct a 130 MWp photovoltaic solar power plant near Gafsa in southwest Tunisia.

Sébastien Clerc, Voltalia’s Managing Director, expressed enthusiasm about the project, highlighting Tunisia’s favorable climate, supportive government policies, and backing from international financial institutions.

The Paris-based company will execute the solar power plant project through a PPP model, with electricity generated sold to the Tunisian Electricity and Gas Company (STEG) for 30 years.

Voltalia plans to expedite project development, aiming to commence solar farm construction in 2025. By 2026, the facility is expected to be connected to Tunisia’s national electricity grid, supplying power to approximately 70,000 Tunisian households.

Voltalia believes that this initiative aligns with Tunisia’s energy objectives. It particularly targets a 30% electricity production share from renewable sources by 2030, a significant increase from the 2.2% in 2023.

Given Tunisia’s abundant sunshine (over 300 days annually), solar energy presents a competitive alternative to thermal power plants relying on imported natural gas.

For Tunisia, transitioning from natural gas dependence (which accounts for 97% of electricity production) is a crucial step in its energy strategy.

Private investors like Voltalia are pivotal in this transition. Voltalia joins UAE-based independent power producer Amea Power in the Tunisian market, with Amea Power recently commencing construction of a 120 MWp solar power plant in Kairouan.

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