Taifa Group signs Sh330 billion electricity deal in Zanzibar

Generation Capital managing director Bikash Subba (left) and Zanzibar Electricity Corporation (Zeco) general manager Mshenga Haidar exchange documents in Unguja yesterday after signing an agreement under which Generation Capital in partnership with Taifa Group will generate 180MW of solar electricity on the islands. PHOTO | JESSE MIKOFU

What you need to know:

  • This is the power purchase agreement (PPA) for the first-ever utility-scale solar photovoltaic (PV) project in Zanzibar, which receives 125 megawatts from Tanesco, whose ability to supply has reached 90 percent

Unguja. Zanzibar’s dependency on electricity from the mainland could soon be an issue of the past. This is after Taifa Group and Generation Capital Limited (GCL) signed yesterday a partnership with the state-owned Zanzibar Electricity Corporation (Zeco) to produce 180 megawatts on the islands.

This is the power purchase agreement (PPA) for the first-ever utility-scale solar photovoltaic (PV) project in Zanzibar, which receives 125 megawatts from Tanesco, whose ability to supply has reached 90 percent.

Speaking at the signing of the Sh330 billion agreement, the permanent secretary in the Ministry of Energy and Minerals, Joseph Kilangi, said the project will be carried out in phases.

"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," said the PS.

This move, according to the energy and minerals minister, shows that Zanzibar is on the right development path. He said before the agreement, there were over 80 companies that expressed interest in executing the project.

The project, he said, will revolutionise Zanzibar's energy landscape and ensure the reliable supply of clean and renewable power to Zanzibar, the tourism industry, and other industries, paving the way for a sustainable future.

Zanzibar Investment Promotion Authority (Zipa) has 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.

Generation Capital Limited and their local partner Taifa Group plan to implement the subsequent phases quickly because the current lack of reliable power suppresses demand and limits economic growth in Zanzibar.

Speaking during the ceremony, Taifa Group’s chairman, Rostam Aziz, said 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 Zeco for the first-ever utility-scale solar PV project in Zanzibar," said Rostam Azizi.

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 collaboration of Generation Capital Limited, Taifa Group, and the Revolutionary Government of Zanzibar, the Islands of 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.

He further added that 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 by enhancing energy security, diversifying the energy mix, and promoting sustainable development," he said. According to Mr. Aziz, the pioneering project will also contribute to reducing dependence on supply from Tanzania's mainland, increasing access to clean energy, and spurring economic growth in the region. "The signing of the PPA signifies the collective dedication and determination of all parties involved to accelerate the energy transition in Zanzibar," he said.

He added: In collaboration with Taifa Group, Generation Capital Limited will continue to work closely with the Revolutionary Government of Zanzibar and local stakeholders to ensure the successful implementation of the project and the realisation of its remarkable potential.