By ALICE NACHILEMBE
Minister of Energy Peter Kapala says the remaining construction works at the $2.3 billion Kafue Gorge power project will be completed in November.
Mr Kapala said the project is being financed by Zesco and alternative funds after EXIM Bank of China froze funding to the Kafue Gorge Lower project because the previous government defaulted on payments based on the loan agreement.
He said Zesco is generating internal revenue to ensure that works at the 750 megawatts Kafue Gorge Lower project are completed early and all the turbines come online.
“The Kafue Gorge Lower Power plant was designed to have 5 turbines, each producing 150MW. At least two of the five turbines have been fully installed. In fact, in April 2022, Zesco indicated that two machines at Kafue Gorge were operational and were producing 300 megawatts while a third one was undergoing a reliability test,” he said.
Mr Kapala said the fourth turbine was also earmarked for commissioning soon as final works were ongoing.
He said that the project which has seen the employment of over 4000 Zambians is anticipated to be completed this November.
The Minister said that once completed and at full production, Kafue Gorge Lower will ensure that Zambia becomes a net exporter of electricity.
Mr Kapala said the demand for Zambian power is high from the neighboring countries.
He said that exporting of power will not lead to load-shedding as suggested by some people. Kafue Gorge Lower will ensure excess power.