THE construction of an electricity transmission line from the US$650 million Maamba thermal power station to Muzuma sub-station has started following the Energy Regulation Board (ERB) granting of regulatory consent.
The consent was granted for Maamba Collieries Limited (MCL) and Zesco Limited to enter into a 265.5MW Power Purchase Agreement (PPA).
MCL head of corporate affairs Lavu Janardhan said construction of a transmission line would connect the coal-powered electricity to the national grid facilitating the 265.5MW of the 300MW produced electricity which would be sold to Zesco Limited for a period of 20 years.
Mr Janardhan said a Chinese construction firm, SEPCO Electric Power Construction Corporation was constructing the transmission line simultaneoulsly with the 300MW Coal Fired Power Plant (in 2Ã—150 MW unit configuration) on engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) basis.
"Construction works are going on well as planned and the first unit is scheduled to be completed by October 2014 and the second unit by January 2015," he said.
The scope of the EPC contract includes planning, design, engineering, procurement, manufacturing, supply, inspection and testing, transport to site, construction, erection, testing, commissioning, carrying out performance and guarantee tests, completion of all auxiliaries and facilities and handing over of the power plant to MCL.
Mr Janardhan said once completed the project would be the first coal fired thermal power plant in Zambia, contributing to meeting local energy demands, but will also help to diversify electricity generation sources in the country.
More than 99 per cent of the electricity generated in Zambia is hydro based.
The MCL coal-fired thermal power plant would help improve national security of supply in the event of drought, which could adversely affect hydropower.
MCL is jointly owned by Nava Bharat Limited of Singapore and Zambia Consolidated Copper Mines - Investment Holdings.