Zambia’s power utility plans to construct a new hydro power plant in order to boost electricity supply, a statement seen on Thursday said.
Zesco Limited has since engaged a Swiss firm, Poyry Limited, to conduct an evaluation and analysis of the potential of the proposed 750 Mega Watts (MW) power plant to be constructed downstream of the existing 990 MW Kafue Gorge Power Station situated between Southern and Lusaka Provinces on the confluence of the Kafue and Zambezi Rivers.
The statement, released by the power utility’s marketing and public relations department, said works will involve the construction of a 140 meter concrete-faced rock filled dam or a roller compacted concrete, a surface powerhouse, among other auxiliary structures.
The company has since started holding talks with various stakeholders, including communities to be affected when construction works commence for the update of an environment and social impact assessment.
The stakeholders’ consultative meetings are in conformity with the requirements of the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the financiers of the project, the statement added.
“Zesco Limited is inviting concerned members of the public, interested and affected parties in the planned development of the hydropower station to participate in this public stakeholder meetings with a view of coming up with realistic resolutions and understanding the benefits of the project,” the statement said.
Zambia is currently facing electricity deficit caused by increased demand for electricity.
According to government figures, Zambia’s electricity generation lies between 1,730 megawatts and 1,820 megawatts.
On the other hand, only 20 percent of Zambian households have access to electricity, leaving 80 percent depending on wood fuel. In rural areas, the situation is worse as only three percent of households have access to electricity. Enditem