Zambia's power firm to commence construction of first plant next year

Zambia's power firm to commence construction of first plant next year

LUSAKA, Dec. 5 (Xinhua) -- A Zambian electricity company that supplies power to the mining industry says it intends to start construction of its first-ever power plant next year once it finalizes financing agreements with banks, a senior official said on Thursday.

Copperbelt Energy Corporation (CEC), which buys electricity in bulk from the state-run Zesco Limited for onward transmission to the mining industry, says while initial works for the construction of the 40 megawatt Kabompo Hydro Power Station in northwestern Zambia's Kabompo district have commenced, full construction works is expected to start early next year.

Hanson Sindowe, the company's chief executive officer and chairman, said the company is holding discussions with a number of international banks from China and Europe for a financing project worth 200 million U.S. dollars, but could not reveal the names of the banks.

China's Sinohydro Corporation has won the bid to construct the power plant.

The plant is one of the power projects the company has made to help Zambia overcome its power deficit.

On Wednesday, the Zambian President Michael Sata commissioned a 180 megawatts generator at the Kariba North Bank Extension Power Project, with a pledge that his administration will do everything possible to end power cuts by constructing more plants. The country, he said, has the potential to produce about 6,000 megawatts of electricity. According to government figures, Zambia's current electricity generation lies between 1,730 megawatts to 1,820.