05 March 2014, Lusaka – Chinese Ambassador Zhou Yuxiao and Zambian Finance Minister Alexander Chikwanda signed a Framework Agreement on the Provision of a Concessional Loan by China to Zambia on March 4, 2014.
Amb. Zhou and Hon. Chikwanda at the signing ceremony of the Agreement
According to the agreement, the Export and Import Bank of China will provide the Ministry of Finance of Zambia with a concessional loan of 41 million US dollars. The term of the loan shall be 20 years with a grace period of 7 years and the interest rate shall be 2%. The loan will be utilized for construction of the 120 km power transmission line between Kariba North and Kafue West.
Ambassador Zhou told the audience at the signing ceremony that the power expansion project at the Kariba North Bank, which has been under construction by Sinohydro, is almost completed by now. Two turbines with 180 megawatts each have been added to the existing power station. The first one was completed and handed over to the Zambian side in December last year. The second one started its trial operation on March 25, 2014 and it can be delivered any time from now on. The above-mentioned transmission line, which is about 90% completed already, is meant to transmit the additional electricity at the Kariba North to Lusaka power grid. People in Lusaka and beyond can expect much less power cuts in the very near future.
In his remarks, Minister Chikwanda expressed gratitude of the Zambian government to the Chinese government through Ambassador Zhou for China’s support and help in Zambian endeavor to develop its hydropower industry which in turn can power all other industries and bring better life both for city and rural people.