Agro-industrial concern, Tanganda Tea Company’s investments into green energy to cushion its margins from costly diesel powered generators in the wake of rolling power outages will save the group up to US$ 700 000 per year.
The company bemoans the high cost of diesel to power its generators which it intends to replace by setting up solar energy.
The company has so far invested a total of US$ 8 million on three solar projects with a combined output of 4.4 MW and intends to pour a further US$ 4 million in the next three years.
The business constructed and completed the installation of three solar power plants: a 1.8 MW plant at Ratelshoek Estate, a 1.2 MW plant at Tingamira Estate, and a 1.4 MW plant at Jersey Estate.
“We have three smaller ones to do. We’ll probably do one every year for the next three years, for a total of about US$4 million, maybe a little more,” said Group chief executive officer Timothy Fennell on the sidelines of the company annual general meeting.
“At current fuel prices, we are obviously looking at the best part of US$700 000 a year of savings in diesel only from the generators.”
Tanganda follows several other listed companies to switch to green energy which include Caledonia, Econet and Rio Zim.
The company is the country’s biggest producer, packer and distributor of tea with operations in coffee, macadamia nuts, avocadoes and potatoes. It relisted on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange (ZSE) in February last year after a 14-year hiatus following its unbundling from the Meikles group.
It has transformed itself over the years from a tea business to a diversified export business which has made it an attractive investment.