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Zambia seeks investors in hydropower projects

Zambia was seeking foreign investment for projects to add 6 000 megawatts of electricity to its national grid to meet growing demand and a regional deficit, trade and commerce minister Dipak Patel said yesterday.
Patel told an investment forum in South Africa that Zambian authorities had identified sites for the construction of power projects and that there was a ready market in the country's copper and cobalt mines as well as neighbouring nations.

The country's environment officials said Zambia had more than 35 percent of the total water bodies in the southern African region.

"There is 6 000MW of hydroelectricity unexploited. There is going to be an electricity deficit in South Africa, Burundi, Kenya and Uganda and we have the potential to provide that power," said Patel. "We need more power for the mining sector and for exports."

Iranian company Farab International is in talks with state power utility Zesco to develop the Kafue Gorge Lower power project, which will generate 600MW of power.

China's Sinohydro plans to develop the Itezhi-Tezhi power project, which will have a generation capacity of 120MW.

Official data shows that Zambia, which generates about 1 900MW, will have a power deficit by 2008 unless fresh gigantic investments are made.

Additional information: The Star
News date: 14/06/2006

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