ZESCO Limited has obtained a US$163 million loan from Standard Bank of South Africa and the Swedish Export Credit Corporation that is being used to finance the connection of all districts in North-Western Province to the national electricity grid.
Only Solwezi and Kasempa are connected to the grid while Mwinilunga was commissioned last month.
The rest of the province is powered by diesel generators, which is costly since Zesco spends huge sums of money in operations and maintenance of the diesel stations.
According to a statement issued by the Zesco marketing and public relations department, the project to connect North-Western Province to the national electricity grid started on April 14, 2014.
“This project includes the connection of Mwinilunga, Mufumbwe, Kabompo, Manyinga, Mumbezhi, Zambezi, Chavuma and Lukulu in Western Province.
“The project is being implemented at a total cost of US$163 million. Financing for the project is through a loan from the Swedish Export Credit Corporation and Standard Bank of South Africa,” it states.
The expected completion date of the entire project is July 2017 while Mufumbwe will be connected next month and the other districts will follow.
Connection of the region to the grid will see an end to power rationing and will enable the company to channel saved resources to other areas of its operations.
“The connection of the province to the grid will stimulate economic growth in sectors such as agriculture, mining, manufacturing, among others. The customers will also experience improved quality of electricity supply, and the districts will experience cleaner energy and a drastic reduction in pollution both in noise and air quality,” it states.