Zambia, Zim partner on Batoka Power

*Batoka Gorge just below the Victoria Falls.

*Batoka Gorge just below the Victoria Falls.

20 September 2015, Lusaka – ZAMBIA and Zimbabwe have partnered to explore the possibility of developing a 1,800 Megawatt (MW) power station at Batoka Gorge in Southern Province with an estimated investment of US$4 billion, President Edgar Lungu has said.

Mr Lungu said the project was expected to begin between now and 2019 and is aimed at increasing the availability of electricity of domestic and industrial use in the country.

The Head of State made the disclosure in Lusaka yesterday when he opened the Fifth Session of the Eleventh National Assembly.

The theme of his address to the August House was ’embracing a transformational culture for a smart Zambia now’.

Government is also upgrading the Lusiwasi hydropower project in Serenje in order to increase its generation capacity from the current twelve (12) to 101 megawatts upon completion.

In Luapula province, the private sector has been engaged to construct a 150MW hydropower station at Kalungwishi.

“The installation of two generators at the Kariba north bank in 2013 and 2014 was a strategic investment which increased power generation by an extra 360MW.

“Other long-term measures include increasing power generation at Chishimba and Musonda falls from the current six to 14.8MW and from five to 10MW respectively,” he said.

Mr. Lungu said Government would commission the coal-fired power station at Maamba Collieries and the Itezhi-tezhi hydropower station and the two projects would contribute an extra 420MW to the national power grid by January next year.

The Head of State said Government was also rehabilitating old power stations and the project has seen the up-grading of the Kafue gorge power station from 900MW to 990MW.

“The re-instating of the Victoria Falls power station to its full generating the capacity of 180MW and the up-rating of the Kariba north bank power station from 600MW to 720MW are part of the robust Government interventions to increase Zambia’s installed hydropower capacity, he said.

Government, through the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC), would also implement a solar-based renewable energy programme to redress the current power deficit as 600MW of power will be added to the national grid.

Mr Lungu directed the Ministry of Energy to expeditiously facilitate the exploration of gas by the private sector as part of wide-ranging interventions to speed up the procurement processes in respect of new power initiatives especially for renewable energy.

“I am certain Mr Speaker that with these measures we have taken, we will soon have a gradual reduction of power shortage leading to an eventual surplus. In fact in just 12 to18 months from now, Zambia shall become a net exporter of energy,” President Lungu said.

He also informed the House that a refined petroleum multi-product pipeline worth $2.5 billion would be built from Lobito bay in Angola to Lusaka under a private-sector initiative supported by his Government.

The pipeline, whose construction will commence in 2017, will be designed to deliver refined petroleum products as well as gas for power generation for the country estimated at 500 to 1,000MW.
*Zambia Times

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