Coal possible major power source, says ZDA

WITH current electricity deficit in the region, coal mining has the potential to become the major source of power generation if well utilised, Zambia Development Agency (ZDA) says.
The agency notes that although Zambia is endowed with new and renewable energy resources, efforts to harness them have been minimal.
According to the latest ZDA Zambia sector energy profile, the country’s energy sector has the potential to be a major electricity exporter, if strategies to fully maximise the industry are put in place.
“There is enormous potential for investment opportunities in the energy sector to meet the country’s demand for the various forms of renewable energies such as solar, wind, geothermal, minihydros and coal, but they have not been fully exploited.
“With the regional power deficit, coal could become a major source of power generation, especially with improved and more efficient generation technology,” the ZDA report says.
It says coal remains an important source of energy for the mines and other industries, and that despite the large reserves, the country still has no coal- fired plants.
The agency says the future of coal-fired plants depends on exploration of coal deposits.
Previously, most of the exploration for coal undertaken has been in the Gwembe Valley and in the Kafue Basin, which also has potential for coal bed methane within the proven and potential coal reserves.
“The Sinazongwe area is being mined currently and more detailed explorations are required within the Gwembe Valley and the other known areas to reveal further coal deposits,” ZDA says.
Currently, Zambia only has two coal mines, the major one being the former government-owned Maamba Collieries Limited, and the other being Collum Coal Mine, both in the Southern Province.

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