A UNITED KINGDOM -based firm, Sunbird Bio-energy, is expected to sign an investment promotional and protection agreement (IPPA) with Zambia Development Agency (ZDA) to pave way for the establishment of a US$190 million ethanol extraction plant in Kawambwa.
In an interview, Zambia Development Agency director general Patrick Chisanga said Sunbird will use cassava to produce ethanol.
He said the project will engage 20, 000 small-holder farmers to grow cassava on contract which will have a ready market from the company.
Additionally, Sunbird will also build a 36 megawatts bio-mass energy plant.
“Everything has been concluded and we will be signing IPPA with Sunbird within the next few weeks,” he said.
He said another investor, Green Energy of the UK, has expressed interest to invest in solar energy.
“ZDA is in the process of helping the company identify suitable land where it will establish its solar power projects,” Mr Chisanga said.
Mr Chisanga also disclosed a prospective investor from India is currently exploring investment opportunities in the agricultural sector on farm blocks at Lusuwishi on the Copperbelt, Luena in Luapula, and Nansanga in Central Province.
Mr Chisanga also expressed satisfaction with the outcome of the 2016 Zambia International Investment Forum (ZIIF) which will see the diversification of the economy to other sectors to cushion the economy against negative effects of external shocks.
The 2016 ZIIF recorded a significant improvement in participation of delegates from 250 in the previous forum to 400.
Mr Chisanga said the Forum attracted participants from the United Kingdom UK, Mauritius, South Africa, Nigeria, India, Italy, Germany and Turkey among other countries.
“ZIIF 2016 attracted a wide spectrum of interest and these were not just spectators, they were active participants. Many of them served on panels and others spoke from the floor. Even more significantly, soon after the conclusion of the conference, I had several requests of follow-up meetings,” he said.