Zambia ‘s President Edgar Lungu directed the Industrial Development Corporation of Zambia (IDC) to target and develop at least 600 MW of solar power in the shortest possible time to redress the current power deficit the country is currently facing.
According to the statement released to the media by State House, the IDC yesterday signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the investment wing of the World Bank Group, to develop an initial two 50MW solar photo-voltaics (PV) independent power projects in Zambia.
The projects would be Zambia’s first utility scale PV projects, providing competitively-priced, clean power that would reduce Zambia’s dependence on hydro resources and diversify the energy supply mix.
The Head of State, who is the Board Chairman of the IDC, says new power projects are required to address the energy problems affecting Zambia. Poor rainfall over the past year has resulted in a national power generation deficit of about 560 MW.
The IDC, working with the IFC, therefore anticipates that the proposed solar power projects, with a combined initial target capacity of 100MW, will represent the first of several development rounds, leading to the rapid deployment of up-to 600MW of solar power in Zambia.
The proposed projects would be situated on separate sites and developed by different private sector sponsors, based on open and transparent selection. The projects will involve Zambian participation in their ownership structures. The commercial structure is expected to follow IFC’s recently-launched Scaling Solar initiative (www.ifc.org/scalingsolar). Scaling Solar is an innovative World Bank Group packaged solution that enables the rapid roll-out of utility-scale PV power plants across sub-Saharan Africa at locally competitive prices.
The President has reiterated Government’s resolve to address the current hydropower shortages, caused by low rainfall by active promotion of increased use of renewable energy technologies.
The IDC, an initiative of the late President Michael Sata, is an investment company wholly owned by the Government of Zambia and was incorporated in early 2014. The mandate of the IDC is to play a catalytic role in deepening and supporting Zambia’s industrialization capacity in order to support job creation and domestic wealth formation across all key economic sectors. The IDC plays its role through evaluation, pricing and lowering of investment risk profile by serving as co-investor alongside private sector investors and facilitating provision and raising of long term finance for projects. Simultaneously the IDC serves as an investment holding company for State Owned Enterprises and new investments and ultimately generates earnings for the proposed Zambia Sovereign Wealth Fund.
And IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused exclusively on the private sector. Working with private enterprises in about 100 countries, we use our capital, expertise, and influence to help eliminate extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity.
Preliminary and unaudited data for the fiscal year ending Jun 30 indicate that IFC’s long-term
investments totaled about $17.6 billion, including funds mobilized from other investors. That marked a 16 percent increase over FY14. IFC made about $10.5 billion in long-term investments for its own account and mobilized about $7 billion from other investors. These investments supported more than 400 projects across the world. For more information, visit www.ifc.org