Blanket Mine Solar Plant to ease electricity challenges

Staff Reporter

Blanket Mine has finished construction of Phase 1 of the Gwanda solar plant.

Once complete, the plant is expected to produce 17,5 Megawatts.

The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Information Publicity and Broadcasting Services, Nick Mangwana revealed that the Blanket Mine Solar Plant will be connected to the National Grid and help ease the country’s power challenges.

“Under Phase 1 of the project, a total of 12MW have been connected to the National Grid. We continue to build a private sector driven economy,” said Mangwana.

This development follows His Excellency, President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s visit to Blanket Mine in November 2022, where he commissioned the US$67 million New Central Shaft expansion project at the mine.

Zimbabwe has invited private players to invest in the energy sector which could bring an end to erratic power cuts the countrys has been experiencing.

However, Government is encouraging private players in the energy sector to put more focus on energy solutions that reduce carbon emissions in line with the COP27 resolutions.

The involvement of private players in the energy sector also falls into the  National Development Strategy 1 (NDS1) which seeks to decentralize the production of the country’s power.


Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA) Engineer, Frederick Chirwa in an interview welcomed this development and said that it would help ease pressure at the ZESA.

“The involvement of private players in the energy sector will help ease mounting pressure on the country’s power utility, ZESA, to single handedly meet the country’s energy demands,” said Chirwa.

Similar sentiments were echoed by renowned Economist, Revesai Mutete, who praised Government for creating a level playing field in the energy sector.

“The Government has established a level playing field in allowing private companies to flourish as they are one of the major contributors to the growth of the economy,” he said.

Mutete also encouraged other mining companies to invest in the country’s budding energy sector.

“Other mining companies should also emulate what Blanket Mine has done as solar panel plant proves to be a milestone achievement," said Mutete.

The Blanket Mine Gwanda solar project has also been welcomed by the local business community who now enjoy uninterrupted power supply.

"I remember that President Mnangagwa visited our area some time last year, after his visit we have been witnessing development and now we have seen the solar project. All this can be attributed to the fact that wherever the President visits, development follows," said one Gwanda local businessman.