By Kudzai Furusa
THE Minister of Energy and Power Development, Cde Fortune Chasi today commissioned Petrotrade’s US$8.3 million state of the art solar powered service station in Mabvuku, Harare.
The construction of the Mabvuku Sevice Station began October 2017 and was completed this January.
The solar powered service station is in line with ZANU PF’s President and First Secretary Cde E.D Mnangagwa’s vision in pursuit of the adoption of clean energy.
In his speech after commissioning the service station Cde Chasi said, “Mabvuku service station is the first of the Petrotrade sites to be installed with a high-quality solar energy system. The solar system consists of, 18, 390w solar panels, 4, 14.4kwh usable capacity lithium ion batteries and 2, 5kw MPPT hybrid inverters.
“A total of ZW$8.3million was invested in its construction. I am impressed that the solar system is scalable and Petrotrade intends to upgrade it such that it becomes the main source of energy for the service station with grid electricity being the back up,” he said.
Minister Cde Chasi disclosed that Petrotrade was set to roll out more solar powered service stations next year.
“For year 2021, the company intends to install solar systems at four additional service stations that are already operating. Thereafter the exercise will be ongoing until all of its remaining sites are solar powered.
“Petrotrade is therefore commended for the initiative underway for the installation of rooftop solar panels at all service stations. This is in line with the recently launched Renewable Energy Policy which promotes increased access to renewable energy sources,” Cde said.
Minister Chasi said Petrotrade is the first of all Petrotrade Service Stations to install high-quality solar energy system.
Additionally, Petrotrade was envisaging expanding its operations to rural areas and small towns.
“It is one of the very few oil companies that has presence in areas which previously had no service stations though it has the desire to increase in number in small towns, remote areas and growth points in line with vision of ‘universal access to sustainable and modern energy in Zimbabwe by 2030.
“One of the pillars of vision 2030 is that of inclusive growth and we expect that Petrotrade to develop so as to include even those areas outside the urban areas,” Cde Chasi said.
Petrotrade is continuously growing its brand and increasing its footprint in the oil industry in Zimbabwe. Petrotrade has 32 sites in total, renting 14 of the 32 sites.