State considers gas power plant to cushion deficit

MINISTER of Mines, Energy and Water Development Christopher Yaluma has said Government is considering implementing a gas power plant, with gas coming from Tanzania into Isoka and Chinsali to help cushion power deficits in the country.
Mr Yaluma said the power deficit being experienced in the country is a wake-up call to start looking at alternative sources of energy.
He was speaking during a familiarisation tour of Kariba North Bank power plant and Kafue Gorge Power Station by members of Parliament (MPs) from the committee on energy and economic affairs.
He said Government has moved in to promote the usage of solar to reduce the dependence on hydro-electricity power.
“As Government we have moved in to solicit for renewable energy, and the one which can easily be implemented is solar and this will be connected to the grid.”
“We have been very comfortable by relying on hydro-power. Now what next? What is currently happening in the country in terms of power outages is an eye-opener,” he said.
He said there are other projects that are underway, and once completed will help reduce power deficits in the country, citing the Maamba Collieries coal-fired power plant which, when fully operational, will generate a capacity of about 150 megawatts.
Mr Yaluma, however, said it is sad that consumers are being exploited by some traders selling generators due to a shortage of the commodity.
He said Government has resolved that Zesco should open up an outlet and start selling generators to avoid people from being exploited.
Earlier Lunte Member of Parliament Felix Mutati urged Government to remove duty on solar products as this has resulted in an increase in the cost of solar products in the country.

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