MINISTER of Finance Felix Mutati says Government is overwhelmed by the increase in the number of Swedish companies itching to invest in the development of Zambia’s energy sector.
Mr Mutati is on an economic diplomacy tour of Europe to woo investment into Zambia’s various economic sectors.
The number of Swedish companies showing interest in pumping billions of dollars into the energy sector has grown to five following a roadshow hosted by the influential Business Sweden at its World Trade Centre (WTO) offices in Stockholm, Sweden.
This is contained in a statement released yesterday by Zambia’s deputy ambassador to Sweden Anthony Mukwita.
Mr Mukwita said the companies’ representatives told Mr Mutati they were just waiting for a ‘green light’ from his government to ‘light up’ Zambia.
Mr Mukwita said among the first to express interest in injecting money into the energy sector, buoyed by the fact that adjustments may soon be made in power tariffs in Zambia in the long run, was Eltel.
He said Eltel is a blue-chip Swedish company that has already invested about US$150 million in the energy sector in Zambia’s North-Western Province, including Swedfund.
“Hans Olov Rauman, Eltel’s head of international transmission, told Mr Mutati that ‘we already have over US$6 million in equipment waiting to be used in Zambia. We don’t want to move it to another country, we want to help increase power in Zambia given the right opportunity’,” Mr Mukwita said.
He said a plethora of energy investors ranging from thermal, solar and biofuel echoed the same sentiment, stating that they found Zambia a great investment destination with a stable political spectrum to work under.
The companies included Business Sweden.
Mr Mutati was accompanied at the top level meeting by Mr Mukwita, Finance permanent secretary Mukuli Chikuba and top directors from the ministry.
The list of companies at the roadshow included EKn, which has guaranteed more than US$250 million in investment in Zambia, ABB, Eltel , Carnegie Fonder and Metrum.
Mr Mutati is expected to leave Stockholm for Zambia today.