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Airports Company of Zim invests in electric cars

Airports Company of Zim invests in electric cars

THE Airport Company of Zimbabwe (ACZ) has invested in electric vehicles (EVs), businessdigest was told this week.

Several of ACZ’s shuttles are now 100% EVs, according to public relations and communications manager Tonderai Mangombe.

He said others were either hybrid or small engine capacity cars, which help the firm reduce carbon emissions.

Zimbabwe has pledged to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40% by 2030 to avert a potentially catastrophic impact of climate change.

The country is a member of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, whose major objective is to stabilise and bring down greenhouse gas emissions, such as carbon dioxide (CO2), methane, and nitrous oxide.

“ACZ understands its role in reducing CO2 emissions, resulting from aviation based activities,” Mangombe told businessdigest.

“The company has taken the important step to join the airport carbon accreditation and the work to map and report a baseline of CO2 emissions from services.

“In addition, under the leadership of ACZ and the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructural Development, the new terminal recently inaugurated at Robert Gabriel Mugabe (RGM) International Airport and the modernisation of the existing terminal, included the implementation of CO2 emission mitigation measures identified under systems applications and products,” he said.

Mangombe said incandescent lights had been replaced by energy saving light-emitting diode (LED) lights with motion sensors in active parts of terminal buildings.

Similarly, halogen runway and taxiway lights were replaced by LEDs at RGM International Airport and Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo (JMN) International airports.

“In addition, several airport shuttles are 100% electric, with the remainder being either hybrid vehicles or small engine capacity vehicles,” he said.

Mangombe also revealed that the firm will install solar farms and photovoltaic (PV) plants at the country’s three major airports as part of a broad strategy that is meant to reduce electricity costs.

ACZ has under its stewardship about 10 airports. The busiest ones are RGM International Airport in Harare, Victoria Falls International Airport and JMN International Airport in Bulawayo.

ACZ has invested in expansion projects running into millions of United States dollars.

“(We are) still on [the] expression of interest stage. We will only know the values (of the project) once the tenders have been evaluated,” Mangombe noted.

“Plans for solar farms include the installation of three PV plants at Robert Gabriel Mugabe, JM Nkomo, and Victoria Falls International airports, with the capacity to generate 10MW, 5MW, and 10 MW, respectively.”

The maximum demand for RGM International Airport, currently standing at 1,1MW, is expected to increase to more than 2MW once the solar plant is completed.

Power demand at JMN International Airport is around 0,3MW and 0,5MW for Victoria Falls International Airport.

Mangombe said all three solar farms would cover current and near future needs of power demands with surplus power being linked to the national grid.

According to the company, the solar project is set to improve the company's services and image.

Apart from reducing electricity bills, solar power facilities will electrify Zimbabwe’s airports during blackouts.

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