Lusaka, Zambia — ESI-AFRICA.COM — 24 August 2011 – The government of Zambia is planning to build two new hydropower plants which are expected to add an estimated total of 250MW to the national power grid by 2016, boosting the regional supply in the process.
Revealing this here, Elisha Tsindikidzo, the chief executive officer of Zambia’s Lunzua Power Authority Limited, told Reuters the project was estimated to cost US$650 million, which would be raised through debt and equity financing.
The plant “’ the first large-scale electricity generator in northern Zambia “’ would supply power to the copper mines, and was also expected to feed planned manganese mines, he said.
“It entails construction of two power stations with capacities of 96MW and151MW, as well as associated transmission lines,” Tsindikidzo added.
He went on to say that foreign investors were willing to fund the project because of the power deficit in southern Africa.
“We have already mobilised commitments of interest for the financing, and new equity partners should come on board by the end of this year,” Tsindikidzo said, without naming the investors.
Preliminary engineering work has already started and construction would begin by 2013, he revealed.
Zambia’s peak electricity demand currently stands at about 1,580MW against available generation of 1,401MW, according to estimates by Zambia’s energy regulator.