Two British firms express interest to set up two 300-megawatt coal-powered plants in Zambia

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Finance Minister Margaret Mhango Mwanakatwe
Finance Minister Margaret Mhango Mwanakatwe
Mrs Mwanakatwe
Mrs Mwanakatwe

TWO British firms have expressed interest to set up two 300-megawatt coal-powered plants on the Copperbelt and Southern Province.

One thermal power plant would be located in Ndola, while the other plant would be set up in Sinazongwe.
This follows an appeal by Government to the private sector to invest in thermal energy as the country had more than 780 million tonnes of coal awaiting investment.

Commerce, Trade and Industry Minister Margaret Mwanakatwe said the two firms had so far expressed interest to put up 300-megawatt coal-powered plants in Ndola and Sinazongwe districts.

She named one of the firms that had expressed interest in the thermal power project as Northern Energy based in Ndola.

“The setting up of these two coal-powered plants will help the country to reduce dependency on hydro power,” Ms Mwanakatwe said.

She said the setting up of a coal plant in Ndola would help industries continue with the production of goods and services during load shedding.

Ms Mwanakatwe said Zambia had a lot of coal on the ground which was awaiting investment, and was impressed with expansion works at the Maamba Coal Plant which would soon increase its power generation.

Meanwhile, NEELKANTH Cable Zambia Limited, a new cable manufacturing company, will be commissioned in January 2016 at a cost of around US$17 million.

Neelkanth Group representative, Gopal Kedia said the firm had invested between $16 million and $17 million to establish a copper cable manufacturing company in the Copperbelt Province.

Mr Kedia said the company, once operational, would be able to compete with other local firms in producing copper electric cables using locally-mined minerals like copper.

“We have a new project we are going to start soon in the Copperbelt and we will commission it first week of January 2016.

“Our total investment will be about $16 million to $17 million,” he said in an interview in Lusaka.

Mr Kedia said the company was expected to create more than 300 job opportunities for the local people in the first phase.

The firm would engage mining companies with the view of sourcing minerals from them to manufacture copper electric cables.

“We are going to be buying copper from the mining companies to produce the copper electric cables. We have also been running a lime project in Ndola for the last three years,” he said.

Mr Kedia said the company was committed to supporting the growth of the manufacturing industry and called on Government to put in place measures to help stabilise the Kwacha.

“The Kwacha has to stabilise… if it is fluctuating by five per cent to 10 per cent in a day it is not good for the country; it is not good for the investor and not good for the industry,” Mr Kedia said.

He said it was important for the Government to develop rigid policies that would protect the local manufacturing sector in the face of economic challenges.

Mr Kedia is the general manager for MM Integrated Steel Limited, one of the leading manufacturers of galvanised iron roofing sheets, colour roofing sheets, tubes, open section, and Roto water tanks in Lusaka.

33 COMMENTS

  1. coal is toxic,,, and `evil` to the evironment, i hope PF know that,, everyone else in the world is doing away with coal,,, its global kambwili thing,,, dont you know???

    • Not so long ago, the President was talking of moving on an Eco-friendly path, today, they’re talking toxic coal. I firmly believe that before Zambia explores alternative energy, we should fully harness hydro power. Focus has every been on southern water bodies while the north has lots of water. It is shameful to have over 60% of sub Saharan water yet having to import water from the lesser endowed countries.

    • I agree. Biodiversity is the global language being spoken now. No more coal, less diesel is what they’re all saying. Almost every country including Britain recognizes the importance of clean energy and the need to maintain it in some form. Sadly, most of these investment decisions are powered by politics and greed instead of visionary sustainability.

    • The UK actually relies on power generated from use of coal by 28 percent. Not the best option but biodiversity and to be phased out in long run

    • Sometimes its amazing how Zambians a feed with Bull S..HIT how possible is it to build a coal power station on the copperbelt? Where will the coal come from? The nearest coal source is Southern Province. Does this woman know how much coal is consumed in a power station? Where will it be mines and how will it reach the copperbelt?

      Coal power station are build near a coal source because the amount needed can not be transported to the copperbelt…

      You can keep on joking am sure PF kaponya’s will believe you

  2. Hahaha . You wanted your indenpence and got it still can’t look after your our people. Since 1964 what can Zambia show ? Corruption , poverty , load shedding , violence , poor health facilities ,highest named of bandits in government since 1991 .

  3. This looks like dumping of inefficient coal power plants being decommissioned in the UK. Will these be state-of-the-art? I doubt it. Coal is not sustainable. Emphasis should be renewables.

    • Is there coal in Ndola or nearby towns on the Cb for a firm to consider Setting up a coal plant in Ndola? If the coal will come from sinazongwe then that will be expensive especially if transported by road not rail.

    • @dart
      It’s very dangerous to have little knowledge. Dangote is producing power from a steam turbine which uses off gas produced in the production of cement. In other words this is to supplement Zesco power to reduce costs. That’s not a coal power station.

  4. Is there coal deposits in Ndola? What’s the thought process behind approving this plant on the Copperbelt; firstly if you want to diversify from Hydro…at least promote Green-renewable energy there is nothing sustainable and green about transporting coal ores by rail everyday to the plant thereby putting pressure on the already poorly maintained transport networks overused by the mines then polluting the air further.
    This caliber of leaders is an embarrassment…they would sell their own children in the name of Investors ..I hope the Environmental Authorities do not approve this one.

    • They HAVE ALREADY SOLD THEIR OWN CHILDREN!

      Who do you think will have to pay back the TEN BILLION DOLLARS these clowns have borrowed and squandered??????

    • Even this madam Margaret Mwanakatwe’s justification that we have a lot of coal in the ground lying idle is no brainier and typical of someone who doesn’t understand the implications; we also have 365 days of abundant bright sunshine in the blue sky if a country like France with has less sunshine hours than us in the tropics recently inaugurated 300 MW Cestas solar plant at cost of $382 million on 250 hectares…we should ask ourselves why a British company should come and invest thermal energy; these companies know there are less environmental restrictions and less red tape in Africa.

  5. Your own resources and other countries will charge you millions and at the end of it all they also take the money to their respective countries……..dependency syndrome….

  6. Coal.? Our Brit friends know the dangers inherent in this type of industry. Maybe they were having a snide joke about coal faces!

  7. Most of Southern African rivers and water sources are in Zambia. The Logic being used by PF here is highly illogical.

    Viva president Nawakwi.

  8. The Engineer #

    Are you really Zambian or an imposter. Coal was discovered in the Copperbelt. Where have you.

    You guys pretend to blog like you are intelligent, yet you know Jack-Sh*t.

    Are also aware that Zambia has good copper, platinum and Iron Despotism in Munching, now waiting for investors.

  9. Interesting. Another Indian company investing in Zambia to make cable out of our raw copper. Well done.

    Whem will we find an indigenous black Zambian investing in his own country. 51 years post independence. Shame.

    Let me add there is NO coal in Kopola. Ba Engineer. Please chill. We’ve had enough of this crap of oil in western and chama, platinum in muchinga etc. give it a rest

  10. Zambia is a landlocked country. It doesn’t need to coal powered plants polluting the air more than the mines are already doing. Go with solar.

  11. Even China is turning away from coal within China and we want to increase more coal mines. I agree with both #Ndobo & Nostradamus & Jay Jay. This is the problem when state house becomes a den of corruption business, everything gets approved for a cut.

  12. What we need to be supporting is what Mr Kedia”s company is doing. Well done Mr Kedia Kedia & co.

  13. The last coal mine in UK is shutting down and now Zambia wants to invite Brits to do their dirty business in Zed?

    Have Zambia’s blind leaders seen the massive pollution the use of coal has created in China?

  14. Which British company will invest millions of dollars when Zambian Government has not ratified BIT since 2009?
    Hon. Minister, another “pf achievement” in the never ending “90 days” promises?

  15. there is no country in this world that has developed without the use of coal and zambia is just one developing country…china is leading in coal production and their economy is doing fine and india the same …infact the indian govt have totally refused to reduce on their carbon emmisions and here we are faced with a challenge wich requires urgent attention then u say…ponopono coal is harmfull….go to hell……. wat we need is energy as at now…cleaner and greener energy is for th developed countries…pls spare Us the PF govt and allow us to deliver development to the peopl of zambia, if ur not happywait for yo turn in 2099

  16. Makasa the levels of pollution in China and India are also very serious. Residents of Beijing don’t say go to hell when they are forced to wear masks and stay indoors. so what people are asking is we have 40 percent of the water in Southern Africa and we have abundant sunlight. What is the justification for going dirty? Rwanda recently commissioned a solar plant to produce 8.5 mw of electricity that cost them about 24 million dollars and was developed within a year. The authorities first have to justify why using coal makes sense compared to the cleaner options.

  17. @The Engineer, what sort of engineer are you, sorcery maybe?
    Q: Does Britain have any coal mines?
    A: No, Margaret Thatcher shut all coal mines in Britain because she was fed up up with stu.pid labour disputes.
    Q: Does Britain generate electricity from coal?
    A: Yes, quite a substantial amount.
    Q: Where does the coal come from?
    A: From other parts of the world especially Australia, yes Australia, where you the so called engineer came from before you went to Germany.
    Q: So is engineer a normal person?
    A: Absolutely not, but maybe he is a UPMD cadre where nonsense makes sense, and abnormal people like engineer are seen as the normal.

    • Mr/Mrs Terrible, for your info the Uk is shutting down all coal powered electricity stations and there will not be any by 2020. Do a little Google search and verify your facts before you post. The UK indeed has coal mines even to date and even though they have become unprofitable due to hefty fees on electricity generating companies using dirty fuels such as coal. As a result some are closing on their own due to lack of business. The deepest coal mine closed in August 2015. Thatcher did not close all coal mines, your facts are distorted as I work in an associated industry. For your sake before you make a falsehood sound true, follow the link below http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-33959137. Besides not everyone who criticizes is UPND; there many independent minds who see a wrong as a…

    • @Terrible, the UK has coal mines of its own and were not all closed by Thatcher as you claim. It has had three deep coal mines until August 2015 when one of them closed due lack of business as many electricity generating stations are abandoning coal. There are a number of open-pit mines in Scotland even today. Many coal-powered stations have already been closed. In November 2015 the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change announced proposals to close the remaining coal-fired power stations by 2025. Please have your facts checked before posting untruths and make them sound real. Note that not everyone who criticizes is UPMD if that party even exists. There are many independent minds out there who see a wrong as a wrong. So engineer is not abnormal after all.

  18. @engineer please check your facts about the use of coal for the 30mw plant Dangote is running at their plant in Ndola. It might interest you to know that Dangote are using 800 tonnes of coal per day for their cement production and electricity generation . Yes it is steam that turns the turbines but steam produced from coal fire not gas

  19. @Engineer, get your facts right. You are the destitutes who want to sound knowledgeable wen not.
    Zambia should not be graded against uk or Australian practises, for development’s sake we need to with what we have:- Sun, Water, Wind,coal and eventually uranium. Dangote is using coal for the malaiti in Ndola, they are sending several cement laden trucks into southern prov n coming back loaded with coal.. Thus reason why. They have forced chilanga n Zambezi to troubled waters. Zesco tarrifs up but Dangote cement same price using partly the cokecola distribution strategy.

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