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Zambia needs $1bn for power

LINDA NYONDO, Lusaka
ABOUT US$1 billion will be spent over the next two years by Government to mitigate the power deficit that has hit Zambia.
And Zesco will soon start importing 200 megawatts (MW) of power from a Turkish ship that will dock at the port of Nacala in Mozambique.
Minister of Energy and Water Development Dora Siliya told Parliament in a ministerial statement on the status of power supply yesterday that Government has further advertised for procurement of 200 MW emergency power from inland power plants, which will be available in the first quarter of 2016.
The minister said as an immediate measure, Government contracted 148 MW of power at a cost of US$13.1 million monthly from Mozambique.  Supply by Aggreko of Scotland started in September.
Ms Siliya said, however, the supply will drop to 40MW early next year because Aggreko had earlier committed to providing supply to other countries.
She also said Government is taking medium-term measures to increase power generation by 700MW.
Ms Siliya said the Itezhi-Tezhi hydropower project, which will have a capacity of 120MW, is scheduled for commissioning in December.
“Sixty megawatts will be commissioned this year at Itezhi-Tezhi hydropower station and the second phase of 60 megawatts will be commissioned in January,’’ she said.
Ms Siliya said the Maamba coal project with a capacity of 300MW is scheduled for commissioning in June next year.
She said 300MW will be procured from different solar power plants adding that a further 100MW will be bought from other sources.
She said as long-term measures, Government will buy 300MW from various solar energy plants in different parts of the country.
Ms Siliya also said Government will also upgrade the existing infrastructure.
She warned that there may be no power generation at the Kariba by end of October 2016 if over-generation continues, coupled with poor rains.
The minister said it will take up to three years of normal rainfall for the Zambezi River to fill up the Kariba Dam.

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