MAAMBA Collieries Limited (MCL) will by July this year add 300 megawatts to cushion the power deficit that the country is currently experiencing after the completion of the thermal power plant construction works.
Speaking after the tour of the US$840 million dollars Thermal Power Project situated in Sinazongwe district Special assistant to the President Project and Implementation and monitoring Lucky Mulusa said once the plant was commissioned the country would purchase power at a cheaper price.
Mr Mulusa said the power plant which was expected to create about 500 jobs was a critical project for the country’s development as it would mitigate the current load shedding.
“Zambia is buying power from foreign countries at a high costs but once MCL starting generating power it will be cheaper, this project is critical for Zambia’s for development and it is also costing saving and more importantly it will mitigate the current load shedding,” he said.
The country currently has a 580 power deficit.
He however, attributed the delay in completion of the plant due to unnecessary delays by some civil servants in the procurement.
He said Government has been losing $15 million every month which could have been avoided if there were no delays by the civil servants entrusted with the project.
“There were unnecessary delays in the projects are because of wrong personal attitudes towards work by Government officials,” he said.
And MCL project manager Gadde Ramesh said the plant was about 96.6% complete and the first 150 megawatts would be commissioned in June this year while the other 150 megawatts would be commissioned in July.
Mr Ramesh said the Thermal Power Plant operated on a circulated Fluidised Bed Combustion Technology and the company would be pumping water directly from Kariba Dam to be used for cooling the boilers.
“The works are 96.6 % but by June the first 150 megawatts will be complete, at the moment we are also doing some test trials and acquisition of the engineering equipment,” he said.
Meanwhile the MCL has recruited 34 local engineers who were sent for specialised training in China and India.
MCL has also relocated about 107 households after it built some modern housing units for the affected families.
Apart from the housing units the affected families also received K12, 000 as part of the compensation.