‘Projects for alternative power on course’

ZESCO spokesperson Henry Kapata (left) with Chongwe operations officer Scott Banda at the newly commissioned 33/11 Kilovolts Sub Station. The new 52 MVA transformer capacity Sub Station which also supplies power to Rufunsa district has drastically reduced the challenge on low voltage in the area. PICTURE: BRIAN MALAMA

ZESCO says projects for alternative energy such as thermal, biogas and solar power are being implemented by various investors at a cost of about US$4 billion to improve capacity in electricity generation.
Spokesperson Henry Kapata said in an interview yesterday that consumers should expect better supply from a combination of sources considering that hydropower, the current major source, has become unreliable.
“People of Zambia should expect better and reliable power supply in the new year because there has been massive investment in the energy sector by different companies. These companies are investing in solar, biogas and thermal energy sources,” he said
Mr Kapata said Maamba Collieries Limited has invested US$750 million in a coal plant which will be commissioned in April next year.
He said the project will generate 300 megawatts (mw) of power.
Mr Kapata said other projects include the Itezhi Tezhi hydropower plant being implemented at a cost of US$250 million and will generate 120mw.
He said other projects include the US$25 million Kafue biogas power station and a US$750 million thermal power plant in Maamba.
He said the Kalugwishi hydropower plant is also in the pipeline at a cost of US$700 million and will have a generation capacity of 247 kilowatts.
Mr Kapata said other projects are the Kafue Gorge Lower which will be developed at a cost of US$2 billion.
He said a lot of investors have started investing in the energy sector following the recent increase of electricity tariffs.
“The tariff increase has contributed to the massive investment in the energy sector. Most investors were afraid of making losses because when we have the lowest tariffs, no investor wants to make a loss,” Mr Kapata said
He said the hike in electricity tariffs should not be seen as a drawback, but an effort to improve the quality of service.

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