By Daniel Chigundu
DIVERSIFIED American multinational conglomerate General Electric says it is keen to participate in the country’s energy sector by building hydro and solar power plants as well as help in its distribution.
General Electric power segment serves power generation, industrial, government and other customers around the world with products and services related to energy production.
The Company’s products and technologies harness resources, such as oil, gas, coal, diesel, and nuclear to produce electric power and include gas and steam turbines, full balance of plant, upgrade and service solutions, as well as data-leveraging software.
Appearing before a Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Mines and Energy, General Electric manager for project development Reginald Max said his company has the technology to various dams in the country into mini-hydro plants.
“We are looking at mini hydros, Zimbabwe is blessed with large density of dams which can be converted into mini hydros and we have the technology and ability to covert those into meaningful power generators going forward.
“And also there are renewables one can’t escape talking about energy in today’s world without talking about renewables, we have implemented renewables energy across the world, we have a large wind power business, we are installing wind turbines in various countries across the world and we have supported renewables energy across the world and given our track record we would like to do the same here.
“There is sunshine every day and that’s the natural form of energy one can get and we believe that we can make a meaningful impact going forward,” he said.
Max added that while it is important to have the ability to produce power in the country, but the most important thing was the ability to distribute that power across the country.
“…it’s pointless to say we have all these generating plants but we can’t get power to the people, we realise access to power in this country is still what it’s not intended to be so we are at least trying to achieve the goals of the ministry and the utility, so that we can distribute power broadly to the population.
Most parts of rural areas in Zimbabwe are currently not connected to the power grid despite the country introducing rural electrification many years ago.
Although power users in Zimbabwe paying a levy for rural electrification, there is no meaningful progress on the ground to show for it as institutions such as schools are yet to be connected.
According to General Electric, by connecting most parts of the country to electricity, Zimbabwe will generate more economic activity which will go a long way in helping grow the gross domestic product (GDP)
“…the more you do that, the more you activity you have in the economy the more GDP you generate and the faster you grow.
“So everything we do in terms of infrastructure has implications to the growth of the country from GDP perspective and that is what we are looking forward to doing as we have in other countries, that is our role, that is our aim and we hope you will accept us with our proposals,” he said.