Mines, Energy and Water Development Minister Christopher Yaluma
Mines, Energy and Water Development Minister Christopher Yaluma

SEVEN energy companies have been shortlisted for the installation of solar power generation equipment in selected parts of the country to mitigate the current electricity deficit, Parliament has heard.

Mines, Energy and Water Development Minister Christopher Yaluma said the successful bidder would be announced next month and the country is expected to generate the first 50 megawatts of solar power in March next year.

Mr Yaluma said this in response to MMD Lunte Member of Parliament (MP) Felix Mutati who wanted to know how favourable the country’s environment was for Independent Power Producers (IPPs) to flourish.

This was shortly after Mr Yaluma delivered a ministerial statement on the current status of the country’s power situation.

“Seven reputable IPPs have been shortlisted to put up solar power stations and very soon we shall be announcing the successful bidder as we make strides in alleviating this power problem,” he said.

Mr Yaluma said the country would by early next year experience improved power supply as some major projects under construction would have been completed and added to the national electricity grid.

He named these as the 300MW Maamba Collieries thermal plant and the 120MW Itezhi Tezhi hydropower plant.

In the interim, the Government was importing 148MW from Aggreko in Angola, 100 from Electricidade de Mozambique (EDM) and 150MW from the Southern Africa Power Pool (SAPP).

The House also heard that the net worth of Zambia Railways Limited (ZRL) grew from K18.9 million in 2011 to K63.3 million this year following the Government’s take over from Railway Systems of Zambia (RSZ).

Transport and Communications Deputy Minister James Kapyanga said at the time of the takeover, the company owed suppliers K109,370,509.

Mr Kapyanga was responding to a question by UPND Gwembe MP Brian Ntundu who wanted to know the financial status of RSZ at the time the Government took over in 2012 and how much the firm owed suppliers.

Mr Kapyanga said following the injection of fresh capital to the tune of US$120million, ZRL had increased train speed from 18km per hour to 50 kilometres over the same period.

“We have also introduced the Golden Jubilee Michael Chilufya Sata Express Train and commuter trains in Lusaka which have further eased the movement of goods and people,” he said.

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14 COMMENTS

  1. great! hopefully in the very near future it will be Zambia exporting power to other nations! Diversification of the national power grid is important and should be considered a high priority. There can be no development without stability of basic structures like zesco.

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  2. I the mean time HH and his crones are busy criticizing the government. This is a let them talk while we work kind of approach.

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  3. PF solutions are hard to understand. Just come up with policies that encourage private sector to consider this a lucrative blue ocean. SHORT-LISTING means encumbering would be participants and implies that borrowed money has to be ploughed into these ventures. FTJ (Chiluba) didn’t have to use state funds to solve the transport problem that he inherited from KK. He created an environment where private sector could thrive. How did we manage to attract Glencore and Vendetta and others when Anglo pulled out?

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    • Through corruption bwana. You mean you don’t know that Glencore hammered us on our asses and Vedantta is not a real mining company but a mining mirage of some sort?

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  4. When were the adverts for solar power installation put up. Single sourcing ? Is Government guaranteeing the purchase of the power?

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  5. Development is incremetal. Politians should learn to put their heads togather in hard ecomomic times like this. We can not all be presidents its one at a time. The weaker/poor(financialy) citizens are suffering. God is great.

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  6. Viva PF viva, Viva President lungu viva, viva minister Yaluma viva. Forward to a working goverment forward, forward to progress forward. AMEN

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  7. Viva PF viva, Viva President lungu viva, viva minister Yaluma viva. Forward to a working goverment forward, forward to progress forward. AMEN

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  8. This project could have been long implemented if the government and state house officials did not interfere with our learned Zambians at Zesco. Zesco has been working on this for some time but we have GREED politicians and staff at state house who are always interfering in the operations of state institutions like Zesco. Those 7 companies have been IMPOSED on us by these greed creatures. Do not be surprised if some of these shortlisted companies fell to perform. And there will be exaggeration of prices. WHO DID THE SHORT LISTING??? The idea is good but these crooks are just looking at benefiting from this whole issue other than the benefit of the common Zambian. We know you and we are keeping all the records. Only time will tell.

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  9. What a government!! Sometimes when one reads critism would think people are just being negative! We were told the power deficit was around 400MW. So if we are importing 398Mw from these source Yaluma has mentioned,why then do we still have loadshedding?We are in an emergency situation and yet these chaps are only thinking of generating 50MW by March 2016 yet there are companies we read about on this site (people that met Mwamba in S.Africa) who can generate more than 100MW within 3 months. This is something undesirable and if Mutati and other opposition MPs got satisfied with this response then they are just mere noise makers!!We have always been told the crisis will end in November so it is not but March next year!?

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  10. So you have been lying about short rain fall being the cause of load shedding?. We have impending rains but you still predict power shortages into next year and only upuntill the other projects come on line?. Also which solar company would agree to invest in Zambia knowing when the rains come kariba will be at full capacity and their solar plants would not be needed, just tell us kariba will never generate full capacity, rain or not. You stole the $500 million you said was used for the kariba upgrades.

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  11. President EC Lungu has demonstrated that vision is not being able to see bacteria with bare eyes but to be able to react to situations positively when need arises. Long term plans should be flexible and not rigid. For example, you might have kept some money to buy a car in two years time and find that your only child requires serious medicals, can you go ahead with the motor vehicle vision? Can it be called senseless to have changed plans to save your child? Tell you what, our opposition would say he has abandoned the vision.

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  12. vuvuzelas are shouting ati kuya bebele ifwe tuleti kubombesha fye bebelle viva ECL viva one zambia.

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