Zambia: 40 MW Hydropower plant on the cards

By Nawa Mutumweno – Copperbelt Energy Corporation (CEC), an independent power company, plans to build a 40-MW hydropower station in North Western Zambia to improve its electricity provision capacity.

According to CEC corporate development managing director Michael Tarney, the firm would invest about $120 million on developing the Kabompo hydropower project by 2015.

A feasibility study has since been completed and the power utility was negotiating the granting of a concession for the project. Construction was expected to start within the next two years. This power project could offer possible additional power supplies to the nearby mines, in a region of Zambia where a number of new mining projects were expected to be built in the coming years.

It would also assist in stabilizing the electricity on Zambia’s main power grid.

CEC was also considering a number of other power projects including larger hydropower projects that could serve both the Zambian and Democratic of Congo (DRC) markets.

It is expected that the electricity supply situation in Zambia will be very tight in 2012 before new generation capacity is brought on line between 2013 and 2015.

However, with copper prices remaining bullish with increased copper production which was likely to rise to an excess of one million tons per annum in the next three to four years, demand for electricity from the mining will be substantial.

CEC recently scooped the Developer of the Year award by the ‘African Investor’  for their various development across the continent.

And early this year, CEC in conjunction with ZESCO submitted a joint bid that was pre-qualified with intentions to sign a management contract to help restore full electricity supply to Liberia following years of instability that resulted in infrastructural damage. However, the deal fell through.