State for PPPs to improve power generation

FILE: PRESIDENT Lungu flanked by Maamba Collieries chief executive officer Venkat Shankar (left) and Southern Province minister Nathaniel Mubukwanu during a tour of the thermal power plant under construction in Maamba yesterday. PICTURE: EDDIE MWANALEZA

VIOLET MENGO, Parliament
DEPUTY Minister of Energy and Water Development Charles Zulu says Government is pursuing public private partnerships (PPP) to increase power generation capacity, transmission and distribution infrastructure.
Mr Zulu also Luangeni member of Parliament (INDEPENDENT) said the ministry is implementing programmes to expand rural access to electricity.
He said this is being done through the diversification of the energy mix to include renewable energy sources.
“The development of Maamba thermal coal power plant which will generate 300 megawatts is expected to be commissioned by November 2015,” Mr Zulu said.
He was contributing to the motion of thanks to President Lungu’s address to Parliament.
Mr Zulu, who highlighted a number of achievements scored by Government, said North-Western Province is being connected to the national electricity grid to replace diesel-powered generators that are servicing some parts of the region.
He said the ministry is implementing solar mini grids in various provinces to reduce dependency on hydro energy power and also as a way of diversification
Mr Zulu said in the petroleum sub-sector, Government is working at stabilising fuel supply to ensure adequate and steady supply of petroleum products.
Mr Zulu also said Government has been constructing fuel depots throughout the country.
He told the House that the Solwezi fuel depot is 99 percent complete and is undergoing pre-commissioning tests.
Mr Zulu also said once completed, the Mongu fuel depot will mark the end of phase one of project.
Phase one started with construction of the Lusaka and Mpika fuel depots, respectively.
“We have embarked on a number of renewable energy programmes that will have positive bearing on development, especially rural areas,” he said.
Mr Zulu said the ministry is assessing the region water resources for both ground and surface water to ascertain the potential and suitability of the water for various uses.

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