The Zambia Electricity Supply Corporation ZESCO Limited recently signed contracts worth $548 million (approximately 10 billion Zambian kwachas) with Power China, a Chinese construction company, to develop three solar photovoltaic power plants, with a combined capacity of 600 MW, in three districts of Zambia.
The Chibombo district in Zambia’s Central Province and the Chirundu and Siavonga districts in the south of the country will soon benefit from three solar photovoltaic plants with a capacity of 200 MW each. They will all be connected to the national grid.
The information was made public on May 20, 2020 by ZESCO Limited, Zambia’s public power utility. It also announced the signing of three contracts worth 548 million Dollars, about 10 billion Zambian kwachas, with Power China, a Chinese construction company, for the realisation of these solar photovoltaic projects with a cumulative capacity of 600 MW. “The signing of these three contracts is historic for ZESCO and for Zambia as a whole, as it is a step towards the diversification of the development of renewable energy in electricity production,” says Victor Mulenga Mundende, Managing Director of ZESCO Limited.
“The project will benefit more than one million existing and potential ZESCO customers. It will also provide Zambians with cleaner and more reliable energy. This will strengthen industrial development and the mining sector and also create jobs for local people,” he adds.
The managing director of ZESCO Limited urged Power China to ensure that the power plant technology takes advantage of the “great” technologies that are continually improving in the market. He also called on the Chinese company Power China to speed up the work on schedule by ensuring quality, performance and safety.
Zambia relies heavily on hydropower, and recently has been facing increased power shortages, partly caused by drought. According to the Zambia Electricity Supply Corporation ZESCO Limited, in March 2020 Zambia’s electricity deficit reached 810 MW, up from 690 MW in September 2020.