Astra Energy has received a commitment letter from the revolutionary government of Zanzibar to supply approximately 200 acres of land by way of a 33-year renewable lease, for Astra’s proposed Zanzibar Clean and Renewable Energy Park Project (“Project”).
The Project will generate 50MW of clean and renewable energy on Unguja Island, the largest island in the Zanzibar Archipelago and the seat of Zanzibar’s semi-autonomous government.
It will be comprised of 42.5 megawatts of solar generation, coupled with Astra’s proprietary Regreen waste-to-energy technology, which will generate the remaining 7.5 megawatts while consuming and eliminating approximately 300 tons of municipal solid waste (MSW) daily.
According to a statement availed to The Business Wiz, the project will also include a battery energy storage system (BESS), a much-needed source of grid stability and a peak power source for the island.
“Astra intends to own and operate the Project as an independent power producer (IPP), selling the power to Zanzibar Electricity Corporation (ZECO), Zanzibar’s state-owned utility, via a long-term power purchase agreement,” the statement said.
The Project will complement the Zanzibar Energy Sector Transformation Project (ZESTA), a $142M World Bank and Clean Technology Fund initiative whose objective is to “expand access to electricity service and to create an enabling environment for private-sector participation in the Zanzibar electricity sector.”
“Astra conceived this unique Project to address two of Zanzibar’s most pressing issues: access to clean, reliable power and the growing problem of municipal solid waste disposal,” says Astra’s Vice President of Electrical Power Generation Tony Thompson.
“The 50 megawatts of generation on Unguja, coupled with the BESS component, will drastically reduce the island’s reliance on a single 100-MW submarine cable from mainland Tanzania, which is currently its sole source of power and is routinely operated at greater than 90% of its capacity during periods of peak demand on the island.
The Project’s consumption of 300 tons per day of MSW will reduce the stress on the Kibele landfill, the island’s only dedicated receptacle for waste.”
Astra and the government of Zanzibar previously signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on June 7, 2022, to develop the Project, and Astra has been approved for U.S. government advocacy to help advance the Project.
Astra has also applied for a grant from the U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) to fund the feasibility study and has chosen Arup US, Inc. as the sole source provider to conduct the study.
Astra plans to begin Project engineering once the feasibility study is complete and definitive agreements have been reached with the Zanzibar government, which is expected later this year.