CONSTRUCTION of the 100 megawatts solar farms in Lusaka will start in March this year following the selection of Neoen First Solar and Enel Green Power Limited.
In an interview, Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) acting chief executive officer Mateyo Kaluba said the two companies tendered the lowest tariffs at 6.02 US cents and 7.84 US cents per kilowatt hour respectively.
He said the solar projects that will cost K404.9 million, approximately US$40 million, will take eight months to be completed and will be located in the Lusaka-South multi-facility economic zone.
“We expect to reach financial and commercial closure by March and construction works will start soon thereafter. The tariffs from solar projects are attractive and they are better than the ones offered in the hydro-power sub sector, and this will entice investors.
“The power will be fed into the national grid and IDC is facilitating the involvement of the private sector, so IDC [Government] will go in as minority shareholder with about 20 percent shareholding. Actually, this project is an example of how IDC is spearheading industrialisation by creating an environment for private sector,” Mr Kaluba said.
He said International Finance Corporation of the World Bank is providing technical expertise with IDC creating an enabling environment by setting up the place where the solar farms will be installed.
Last year, President Lungu commissioned the preliminary project development work on two solar plants of 50 megawatts each under phase one, representing 100 megawatts out of the targeted 600 megawatts of the Zambia Scaling Solar programme.