Businessman Mr Wicknell Chivayo’s Intratrek Zimbabwe is planning to forge ahead with the 100MW Gwanda Solar Project after a Harare magistrate this week ruled that there had been an unreasonable delay in its implementation.
Mr Chivayo and his company were on Monday acquitted of misappropriating US$5,6 million for allegedly abandoning the solar project.
In an interview, Mr Chivayo said Intratrek was offering an immediate solution by financing the first phase of the project of 10MW using its internal resources.
He said the balance of 90MW would be implemented through debt financing over an 18-month period.
“My acquittal and that of Intratrek had two critical implications on the Gwanda Solar Project. As you would be aware, ZPC had attempted to cancel the EPC contract for the Gwanda Solar project in 2019, alleging among other things that there had been fraudulent misuse of the funds paid towards the pre-commencement works.
“The acquittal, therefore, vindicates us from any wrongdoing but most importantly demonstrates that Intratrek performed its obligations under the EPC contract in full.
“In fact, the Magistrates Court confirmed that Intratrek over-delivered by US$609 000, a fact that corrects the misconception that funds were used for purposes other than towards the solar project,” Mr Chivayo said.
The businessman said the acquittal placed beyond doubt that there was no basis for the cancellation of the project in the first place.
Recently, the High Court passed a judgment in favour of Intratrek which declared the EPC contract valid.
The court also ordered ZPC to implement the project resulting in ZPC filing an appeal to the Supreme Court.
“However, what I can confirm without much disclosure is that there is a common understanding that the solar project must be implemented as a matter of urgency,” Mr Chivayo said.
“The country has been reeling under 18-hour episodes of load shedding. The industry is being adversely affected and the consequences on the economy are catastrophic.
“Intratrek is offering an immediate solution to finance the first phase of the project of 10MW using its internal resources. This bridge-financing proposal has been presented to the relevant authorities and is receiving urgent consideration.”
Mr Chivayo said as Intratrek, they were committed to restoring goodwill in the Gwanda Solar Project thus they proposed to self-finance the first phase.
“We will, however, require certain guarantees on repayment of this bridge finance framework, especially considering that the loan to the utility will be in United States dollars,” he said.
“It only makes sense for the securities to guarantee repayment in US dollars. Once this has been finalised and all security for payment agreements have been signed, Intratrek is prepared to immediately finance the first phase of 10MW within a period of six months.
“We are therefore very confident that the ongoing discussions will yield in the resumption of the solar project for the benefit of the country at large.”
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Publish date : 2023-03-16 05:00:23