CEC gets go-ahead for 40-MW Kabompo Gorge hydropower plant

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An implementation agreement signed this week by the Republic of Zambia and the Copperbelt Energy Corp. essentially serves as the approval for development of the 40-MW Kabompo Gorge hydroelectric plant.

The document allows CEC to complete remaining pre-implementation activities, including the mobilization of funds required to construct the facility.

“The government has, as witnessed today, given us the concession to develop this project,” CEC chair Hanson Sindowe said. “Certain actions and rights can only be taken and granted by the government, and it is these that underlie the implementation agreements.”

The project — to be located on the Kabompo River in Zambia’s North-Western Province — is meant to address the country’s power deficit while also providing opportunities for economic stimulus.

The Kabompo Gorge hydropower project has been in the planning stage for almost a decade, with the plant first being promoted for private development in 2007.

HydroWorld.com reported that CEC had completed preliminary investigations to support preparation of tender documents for the plant In November 2010, at which point it invited expressions of interest for turnkey construction of the plant. (2) At that point, the project was to include a dam and water tunnels, power station, 80-kilometer transmission line, employee housing and other facilities.

The company has expressed a strong interest in expanding Zambia’s hydro sector and spent US$3 million to perform development feasibility studies along the Luapula River earlier this year.

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