The Kafue power project,
where the new Kafue
Gorge Lower power plant
is to be built.
 
Lusaka, Zambia — ESI-AFRICA.COM — 21 July 2011 – The government of Zambia has raised the estimated cost of building a planned power plant in the country by about a third from US$1.5 billion to US$2 billion, after factoring in the cost of borrowing.

Revised project documents show that the construction of the 750MW Kafue Gorge Lower power plant, which started yesterday, is expected to be completed by 2017. “The cost of the project is US$1.94 billion, including financing costs,” the documents showed.

Sinozam Power Corporation “’ a joint venture between Zambian state power company Zesco and two Chinese firms “’ is to build and operate the plant before handing it over to Zesco.

About 70% of the financing for the project will be loans from the two contractors, China-Africa Development Fund and Sino-Hydro. The remainder will be provided by Zesco, the documents said.

Zambia typically generates 1,400MW per hour of electricity and consumes about 800MW per hour, but the demand rises to 1,500 MW/h at peak times when many domestic users switch on heaters.