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In the recent past, the company has focused on the development of electricity transmission and related infrastructure in Sub-Saharan Africa. Its goal is to be Africa’s leading developer of stand-alone, independent transmission companies that would own and maintain transmission systems and operate them in conjunction with, and under the direction of systems operators in their respective countries. The overriding objective is to achieve sustainable development throughout Africa.
Founded in 2009, ATC has had significant impact in the energy sector in Southern Africa, with some of its projects leading the quest for energy poverty eradication in Zimbabwe. Recently, our Sector Lead, Jomo Erick, had a discussion with Victor Utedzi, the Managing Director of ATC to further understand the work and impact of the company. Notable on ATC’s portfolio was a ground-breaking ceremony in Bulawayo to mark the official commencement of construction of two PV solar plants in Bulawayo and Gwanda with PPC Zimbabwe and a consortium comprising ATC and Sinohydro.
This follows the signature of the first corporate power purchase agreement in Zimbabwe between PPC Zimbabwe and CentraWest, the project company with total contracted capacity at 30MWac. To ensure reliable and quality supply of electricity to PPC Zimbabwe, a 9MW/18MWh battery energy storage system will be installed at the Gwanda site. This is one of the largest grid scale electricity storage systems to be built in Africa.
ATC also recently celebrated the second anniversary of the first phase of the 25MW Centragrid PV Power Plant in Nyabira, Zimbabwe. Coming from the effects of COVID-19, Victor noted that the last two years have been tough but they have been encouraged by the energy provision potential that still exists on the continent. He remarked that Centragrid‘s vision is to help keep the nation’s lights on by delivering on the completion of the 23MW third phase in 2022. Today, Centragrid is becoming a mighty beacon of light and hope to the people of Zimbabwe.
The work done by ATC is relevant to the core of our work as the AL for Infrastructure Sector. It is estimated that over 600 million people in Sub-Saharan Africa still do not have access to electricity and clean energy and ATC had to pick up the mantle and step in to fill the glaring energy gap. ATC believes that local organizations and the young people need to step their work up in the energy sector to avert this travesty. Indeed, industry cannot blossom without power. Such a situation would lead to more job losses where employment insecurity is already rife, directly impacting on the quality of livelihoods of the majority of the population, further exacerbating inequality.
With its undoubted commitment to bridge the African energy gap sustainably, ATC recently established a partnership with the AL for Infrastructure Sector to support talent development with the specific intention to solve our energy crisis. For the next three years, ATC will be running a fellowship and internship placement apprenticeship program with AL for Infrastructure to equip the next generation of African engineers with the necessary skills and experience to explore Africa’s energy opportunity. This program will mainly benefit Zimbabweans within the network or other network members who would be able to work in Zimbabwe. Interns and fellows will be placed on a 3 – 12 months learning program where they will dive deep into the engineering components of installing and operating renewable energy power plants as well as other aspects related to the business including development, project finance, financial modelling, feasibility analysis, project structuring, planning, development, etc.