LUCY LUMBE, Lusaka
RURAL Electrification Authority (REA) has set aside K114 million for the implementation of the 2017 capital projects.
Chief executive officer Geoffrey Musonda said the authority will this year procure material valued at K27.9 million for implementation of grid extension projects.
Mr Musonda said in a speech read for him by corporate affairs manager Justin Mukosa yesterday that the authority will spend K14.3 million on labour for the completion of the grid extension projects which were started in 2014.
He said REA will develop 423 kilometres of the new grid extension projects.
The 2017 grid extension projects include Chimpempe in Kawambwa, Mambe Mission in Mbala, Milenge phase 4 in Milenge and Kataba phase 1 in Nalolo.
Mr Musonda said the 2017 grid extension projects are at evaluation stage and will be implemented at a cost of K16.1 million.
He said the authority has started the construction of the first mini-hydro power station in North-Western Province.
Mr Musonda said the 640KW Kasanjiku mini-hydro power station will be constructed in Chief Ntambuâ€™s area in Mwinilunga.
â€œThe total cost of the project when completed in 2018 will amount to US$8.7 million. The contractor for the project is National Research Institute for Rural Electrification, CCC Engineering Limited and HNAC Technology in a joint venture,â€ he said.
He said K3 million has been set aside for the construction of substations in Chinsali and Luampa districts.
Mr Musonda said the construction of substations will bring power to Luampa and Mundu Rural Health Centre in Chinsali.
He said the authority has also implemented the sustainable solar marketing package programme (SSMP) that started in 2016.
â€œUnder this programme, the authority will install solar home systems at 28 schools, 96 staff houses, three chiefsâ€™ palaces, one local court, seven rural health centres and 12 rural health centresâ€™ staff houses in three districts. The estimated cost of these projects is K845,000,â€ Mr Musonda.
LUCY LUMBE, Lusaka