5 January 2013

Zambia: U.S.$186 Million Released for Kafue Gorge Project

GOVERNMENT has released US$186 million for the development of Kafue Gorge Lower project.

The money is from the $750 million eurobond raised by the Government last year.

From the eurobond proceeds, Zesco Limited would get $255 million for improving power generation and transmission.

Zesco Managing Director Cyprian Chitundu announced the development in Lusaka yesterday.

In the 2013 National Budget, Finance Minister Alexander Chikwanda allocated $255 million to the energy sector meant for power generation and transmission.

Last year in September, Zambia made its inaugural entry on the international capital market and raised $750 million.

Addressing journalists, Mr Chitundu said the Government had shown total commitment to improving the energy sector.

"There has been for a long time inadequate investment in the power sector but I am glad to report that this Government has shown total commitment to our sector," he said.

Giving the 2012 highlights, Mr Chitundu said last month, the firm commissioned a generator at Kariba North Bank, which marked the completion of the rehabilitation and up-rating work on machines.

This brings the installed capacity to 720MW at the station.

Mr Chitudu said the completion of the rehabilitation works at Kariba North Bank had significantly helped in reducing load shedding.

The deficit has been reduced from the current 250MW to 70MW.

"We have also commissioned Shiwang'andu power plant which has taken power to a village setting which has never had electricity since independence," he said.

Mr Chitundu explained that last year the power utility company launched a countrywide safety sensitisation campaign aimed at reducing the number of incidences in homes.

He said a door-to-door customer inspection would be carried out.

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