FINANCIAL services institution, Stanbic Bank Zimbabwe, has facilitated the construction of a ZAR7 million 190kw solar plant for Standards Association of Zimbabwe (SAZ) as part of interventions to aid adoption of sustainable energy solutions.
Stanbic head of personal and business banking, Mr Patson Mahatchi, said the bank supported SAZ with the foreign currency which was required to facilitate importation of all the necessary components for the plant. He said Stanbic Bank sees sustainable energy solutions as one of the pillars of social-economic and environmental strategy aimed at aligning the business function with social and environmental development and conservation for sustainability purposes.
"As part of Standard Bank Group, one of our major concerns is the development of Africa as a whole, hence our commitment to partnering and co-operating with strategic organisations who require our expertise and investment capabilities especially in areas of common interest," said Mr Mahatchi.
"Power generation is one of our areas of great interest and we are ready to commit to sustainable development projects in this regard."
As a proactive bank, he said, Stanbic understands the i
mportance of sustainable energy especially in view of the fact that it meets present needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. SAZ director general, Dr Eve Gadzikwa, was quoted expressing gratitude to Stanbic Bank for facilitating access to foreign currency to set up the plant, which is situated at their head office in Harare.
SAZ is currently utilising only 50kw per day and is open to feeding the excess power into the national grid.
"As an association, we are cognisant of the fact that sustainable energy is the route to take hence we appreciate this partnership", said Dr Gadzikwa.
"The solar stands were constructed in the car park and the panels also serve as parking shades making it a multi-purpose set up. We are open to the strategic idea of feeding the excess power into the national grid, should authorities approve."
Stanbic Bank continues to play a key role in funding power projects in Zimbabwe and late last year financed the Hwange Thermal Power Station expansion, which is expected to add 600MW of base load power to the country.
Energy is a key enabler of the economy hence increased power supply is expected to help drive the economic recovery of the country with such benefits being realised across Zimbabwe. The bank also financed the Kariba South Power Project to the tune of US$120 million in 2016.