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Kalungwishi power plant back on track

THIS is Kasanjiku Falls in Mwinilunga district where the Rural Electrification Authority mini-hydro power station to supply Ntambu area will be built. PICTURE: STAFRANCE ZULU

KABANDA CHULU, Parliament
LUNZUA Power Authority has engaged Global Lake of the Commonwealth Development Corporation (CDC) as an equity partner to develop 247 megawatts hydro-power project across Kalungwishi River estimated at US$690 million.
In an interview last Thursday, Minister of Energy David Mabumba (below) said Government had wanted to terminate the contract signed with the developers because the project had taken long to be actualised.
“Government is now happy that Lunzua Power Authority has secured a partnership with Global Lake, an entity under CDC. This partner has the technical capacity in hydro-power growthprojects and the ability to mobilise the needed funds.
“Construction works will start in July 2018 that will be completed by October 2022. Currently, there are negotiations with Zesco Limited in order to sign a power purchase agreement and also the environmental impact assessment report is being scrutinised,” he said.
Earlier, in Parliament, Kaputa MP Maxas Ng’onga (PF) asked about the status on the construction of the Kalungwishi hydro-power station.
In response, Mr Mabumba said Lunzua Power Authority suffered a setback when its partner Quantum Energy pulled out, citing low tariffs.
“They have submitted a project implementation programme, and Government is determined to diversify hydro-power generation sources from the south to the north where there is enough rainfall,” he said.
But Chiengi MP Given Katuta (FDD) asked Government to confirm if the developer has no capacity in power projects since they are involved in milling.
Mr Mabumba responded that Olympic Milling is part of Lunzua Power Authority.
“The milling firm is a subsidiary, the licence was awarded to Lunzua, and we are confident the project will take off with the new equity partner because of the reputation it has,” he said.
Last month, Luapula Province permanent secretary Buleti Nsemukila also urged the developers to expedite the project implementation process, whose contract was signed 10 years ago when he served at the Ministry of Energy in the same position.
The project sites will be at Kabwelume and Kundabwika Falls along the Kawambwa-Mporokoso Road across the Kalungwishi River.

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