Zimbabwe’s Minister of Small and Medium Enterprises and Cooperative Development Minister, Sithembiso Nyoni, signed a memorandum of understanding with China’s Shandong Dejian to develop solar milling plants in rural areas worth around $200m, All Africa reported.

According to the agreement, the Chinese company is expected to conduct a feasibility study to present to the Zimbabwean cabinet for implementation, informed ESI Africa.

Speaking at the signing ceremony, Nyoni stated that the project was testimony of the deep cooperation between Zimbabwe and China. Nyoni said: “The solar powered milling plants are a good investment especially in rural areas where in some cases there is no grid electricity. The pricing of the facility should be competitive.”

She concluded that the ministry is highly committed to the project and will assist Shandong to obtain the necessary approvals to implement the project and coordinate all works with the relevant Zimbabweans authorities to the successful implementation of the plants.

Shandong Dejian’s General Manager, Wang Hongbing, said his company was also involved in a solar milling plant project in Zambia. He said: “We have also signed MoUs with Malawi, Mozambique and Uganda to implement the project.”