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Kabompo Hydro progress worries Parley committee

BUTTYSON KANDIMBA, Mwinilunga
THE Parliamentary Committee on Government Assurances is concerned over the slow pace at which the construction of the Kabompo Hydro Power Project in Mwinilunga district in North-Western Province is progressing.
The US$205 million project, which is expected to produce 40 megawatts of power to feed into the national grid, is being undertaken by Copperbelt Energy Corporation (CEC), through its subsidiary company, Kabompo Hydro Power Limited, located in Kanyikezhi village sitting on an 11, 700 hectares of land in senior chiefs Sailunga and Musele’s areas.
Speaking during a visit to the project site on Sunday, committee chairperson Remember Mutale said it is worrying that the project has not recorded meaningful progress despite the current power challenges the country is facing.
Mr Mutale, who is also Chitambo Member of Parliament (MP), said the Kabompo Hydro Power plant is a viable project with immense benefits not only to the people of North-Western Province but the country as a whole; hence the need to iron out all outstanding issues to ensure the project is fully implemented.
“The only concern we have as a committee is where we are going backwards. We want this project to come to an end but as a committee, we are very much concerned,” he said.
Mr Mutale said the power project once completed will impact positively on the lives of people in the area.
“There is life to this project and we need to quickly sort out all the outstanding issues surrounding it,” he said.
Mr Mutale thanked senior chiefs Sailunga and Musele for providing the land for the project.
Earlier, CEC projects director Vincent Nyirenda told the committee that the firm has spent US$900,000 to compensate displaced people where the power plant is being constructed.
Mr Nyirenda said CEC has built about 120 houses for the over 520 people affected by the development, and that they are awaiting physical relocation.
He appealed to the committee to help CEC acquire title deeds for the land on which the project is being developed, and also facilitate negotiations for the power purchase agreements with Zesco in order to help the company find financers for the project.
“If we have the funding, it will take three years to complete the project, which will create about 1,000 jobs, with 44 Zambians employed to manage the operations,” Mr Nyirenda said.
He said between 30,000 and 80,000 houses will be connected to electricity using power to be generated at the plant.


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