CHRISTINE CHIHAME, Mansa
AFRI Energy, an Asian company, has shown interest in investing K550 million in the energy sector in Luapula Province.
Company managing director Prasad Myneni said the investment will go towards the establishment of 60 megawatt bio-energy plants in five districts.
Mr Myneni said the power project will have its first plant operational within 18 months of commencement of the project.
He was speaking when he paid a courtesy call on provincial Minister Nickson Chilangwa on Wednesday.
Mr Myneni said once operational, the project is expected to create employment to local people who will be engaged in supplying grass and other raw materials.
“My company wants to invest K500 million in bio-energy in Luapula Province which will produce power from bio-gas,” he said.
Mr Myneni said the province has a lot of potential in bio-energy because of the availability of raw materials like elephant grass, which is in abundance.
Mr Myneni said the bio-energy plant will use elephant glass, maize stalks and other easily burnt materials.
He said the energy generated from the plants will help boost local energy that will in turn boost the local economy.
And Mr Chilangwa urged Afri Energy to assess tariff rates of their energy and ensure they do not exceed the cost of what Zesco Limited supplies.
Mr Chilangwa said most power agreements have in the past failed because of high tariff rates by energy developers.
He said with the tariff adjustment by Zesco, the investor will fit into the energy business well.
Mr Chilangwa said many areas in the province are developing, and the coming of investors in the energy sector will go a long way in ensuring that investment in Luapula is sustained.