Zambia advances 750-MW Kafue Gorge Lower, 120-MW Itezhi-Tezhi

Zambia Electricity Supply Corp. (ZESCO) has completed feasibility and technical studies for the 750-MW Kafue Gorge Lower and 120-MW Itezhi-Tezhi hydroelectric projects and expects to begin construction this year on the Kafue River.

A senior industry official said February 16 that Zambia has increased its proposed spending on new power stations, as well as upgrades to meet increasing electricity demand at Zambia’s vast copper mines. The official said Zesco requires US$1.2 billion — up from an initial target of US$720 million budget last year.

The utility is in talks with China’s Sinohydro about building Kafue Gorge Lower and with Iran’s Farab International about building Itezhi-Tezhi.

“We are now discussing the financial aspects,” spokeswoman Monica Chisela said. “As soon as these are concluded then the preliminary works will begin.”

In 2005, Farab signed an agreement with ZESCO to obtain 85 percent of financing for Itezhi-Tezhi, while Sinohydro signed a separate deal to source 85 percent funds for Kafue Gorge Lower. It was not disclosed from where the companies would obtain funding.

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