Copperbelt Energy eyes Zambia’s hydroelectric power market

Zambian power distributor Copperbelt Energy Corp. Plc has reportedly spent US$3 million to perform feasibility studies for hydroelectric power development along Zambia’s Luapula River.

Announced during the recent Zambia International Mining and Energy Conference and Exhibition (ZIMEC), the study anticipates the termination of a deal with Zesco Ltd. in 2017. CEC is currently contractually bound to buy all of its power from Zesco, but with that arrangement ending soon, CEC’s investors have expressed a desire to diversify into generation.

The Luapula River study announcement cam just weeks after CEC announced it had signed an agreement with the Zambia Development Agency for the development of the 40-MW Kabompo Gorge hydroelectric plant.

The Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (IPPA) will improve lender and investor confidence, according to CEC chairman Hanson Sindowe, including the ability to secure concessions necessary for the $220 million project’s viability.

ZDA chairman Songowayo Zyambo said the agency’s decision to approve the agreement was easy given that Kabompo Gorge will be the first hydropower plant in Zambia’s northwestern Solwezi and Mwinilunga districts.

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Michael Harris formerly was Editor for

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