THE Swedish government has given K43 million (US$3.8 million) to Kafue Gorge Regional Training Centre (KGRTC) to undertake feasibility studies for the construction of a small hydro-power station plant and other projects.
During the launch of the feasibility study for the KGRTC small hydro-power project that will be conducted over a one-year period by Gopa International Energy Consultants of Germany, KGRTC director Kaela Siame said the institute developed a five-year business plan in 2012.
He said the projects in the business plan include a five megawatt hydro-power plant, renewable energy technologies such as wind, solar and biomass, energy efficient infrastructure and new learning centre.
“We secured funding for feasibility studies from Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA) and we procured a consultant whom we are unveiling today [yesterday] so that they can start the studies at a total cost of US$3.8 million,” Mr Kaela said.
He said financing of phase two of the projects which will involve construction works and installation of equipment and all support facilities will cost K259 million (US$26.3 million) and has not been found.
Swedish Embassy Charge d’affaires David Wiking said energy is a key input in socio-economic development of any country and the current power shortage in Zambia has highlighted this fact.
“As a result of this power deficit, there has been disruption of services such as provision of water supply, disturbance of business operations and increased usage of charcoal so to overcome this challenge, we need concerted efforts from all stakeholders,” Mr Wiking said
And Minister of Mines, Energy and Water Development Christopher Yaluma said Government will continue supporting KGRTC to play its role in addressing challenges for practical skills development for the energy sector in the region.
“I am informed that 25 countries are sending their people here in pursuit of technical skills to support various operations and management issues in the energy sector,” he said.