The construction of the 300 megawatts thermal power plant in Sinazongwe District is almost complete with 83% of work has been done. Energy Minister Dora Siliya who toured the construction site for the power plant said that government is anxious to get the facility up and running.
Ms Siliya has also directed the Permanent Secretary in her ministry to announce the names of those who want to invest in solar energy. The Minister said government will continue to encourage private sector investments into the energy sector.
She said that the involvement of the private sector will enable government channel resources to social sectors such as health and education.
Ms Siliya also said that she is happy that Maamba collieries Limited is also keen to have an additional three hundred megawatts once the plant is completed.
She also said she is happy that 2000 Zambians have been employed on the power project. Ms Siliya said that government wants to see skills transferred to Zambians.
And in a separate interview, Maamba Collieries Chief Executive Officer Venkat Shankar has assured government of the firm’s commitment to complete the construction of the thermal power plant.
Meanwhile, Government has reiterated its commitment to continue implementing both short term and long term solutions to nationwide electricity deficit challenge, by adding a new 420 Megawatts to the national grid.
Among the short term solutions is the Itezhi-Tezhi power plant, which will come online end of this month, as well as the Maamba thermal plants which are all still under developed.
The medium term power projects are the Ndola Heavy Fuel power plant, Chavuma Mini Hydro- Power plant, which will come online in 2017, as well as 200 Mega Watts Solar Power Plant, to be commissioned by early 2016.
The long term measures, which will be effective in 2021 are 1 200MW Batoka power project, 1000 MW Luapula River power project and the 340 MW EMCO Coal fired power plant.
Mr Kambwili says all the short, medium and long term projects will result in an additional 2,740 Megawatts of electricity, which will make Zambia, in the next few years, become the main electricity exporter in the Southern region. .