Zambia is facing a severe power deficit and is trying to find ways to meet its shortfall. This would mean substantial investments in the power sector. According to the acting managing director of Zesco Cyprian Chitundu, China’s large Exim Bank will provide $420 million once Zesco is able to get $60 million from the Development Bank of South Africa (DBSA) for the Kariba North Bank Power Expansion Project. The project is aimed at plugging the power shortfall in the country making rapid strides in the economic field and having a huge demand for power for its mines and other industrial projects.
At present, the Kariba North Bank plant has the capacity to generate 720 MW of power that feeds the copper and cobalt mines of Zambia. The expansion plan aims at increasing the power generation by another 360 MW in a span of three years, by 2012, once the plan is finished. Zambia’s present power generation capacity is 1400 MW and it consumes 800 MW of electricity during the day, but its demand shoots up to 1500 MW at night, when the shortfall becomes evident.
Zambia is Africa’s largest producer of copper and has approached the DBSA of South Africa to provide $60 million to part finance the project. The deal is almost through and the final papers ready to be signed. China’s Sinohydro has been engaged to start the Kariba North bank expansion project and $18 million already spent on it. An untoward incident led to a fire there that killed two workers and also damaged the plant two weeks ago.
According to Chitundu, Zesco is planning to take $220 million from the Africa Development Bank and the European Investment Bank for developing its 120 MW Ithezi-Tezhi power project. These investments are essential at this stage since power supply shortfalls are hampering industrial growth and proving to be a barrier for overseas investors in other projects.
Source : Agricultural Machine