13 June 2013, Lusaka – Zambia’s ZESCO has said it will invest part of the US$255 million Euro bond funds released by the Government as seed money, to kick-start construction of the 750 mega watts Kafue Gorge lower hydro power project.
The company will use $186 million out of the $255 million given by the Government to embark on the long awaited project in Southern Province.
Managing director Cyprian Chitundu said the remainder of $69 million would be used to finance work in progress aimed at improving power supply to residential areas.
Mr Chitundu said this when he made a presentation on “electricity infrastructure development for economic growth” at a public forum organised by the Engineering Institution of Zambia (EIZ) in Ndola on Wednesday evening.
During the discussion, which was held at Lowenthal Theatre, Mr Chitundu said the Kafue Gorge lower hydro power project will be completed by 2017.
“Out of the $750 million Eurobond acquired by the Government, Zesco was given $255 million, from which $ 186 million will be invested as seed money into the Kafue gorge lower hydro project and the remainder of $69 million will be used to finance other ongoing projects that we are working on to improve the supply of power in residential areas,” Mr Chitundu said.
He said the power utility firm had already shortlisted an engineering consultant to undertake the design and construction supervision of the power station and that, the evaluation for the project would be done by the end of this year.
“An engineering consultant and transaction advisor have already been shortlisted and the evaluation process for the project should be done by the end of this year,” he said.
Mr Chitundu said the completion of the Kafue Gorge lower and other projects could make Zambia become the centre of electricity trade in the Southern African Power Pool, SAPP.
He said electricity was a commodity that Zambia could use to earn foreign exchange, because when Zesco met the local demand, the surplus power could be exported to countries in the region, thereby earning foreign exchange.
At the same forum, EIZ immediate past president Henry Musonda urged engineers to be front-runners in improving infrastructure to develop the country’s economy.
“Our profession is a great one and let’s support the efforts of all utility companies in their quest to develop infrastructure,” Mr Musonda said.