Reuters reports that Japanese renewable energy company Univergy Solar is to invest more than $200 million in two solar power projects in Zambia that will add 200 megawatts (MW) to the country’s national grid next year, the government said on Friday.

Zambia mainly relies on hydropower and has an electricity deficit of about 750 MW due to low water levels at generation plants after a severe drought hit power production.

Univergy Solar Company will develop and implement a 135 MW project in northern Zambia and another 65 MW project in Zambia’s copperbelt, Zambia’s embassy in Tokyo said in a statement.

The Japanese firm will sign a Memorandum of Understanding with the Zambian government next Tuesday to start work on the projects in the first quarter of 2020, it said.

The two projects were expected to be completed between six and eight months, it said.

“The solar power project will be implemented in collaboration with a Zambian company and is expected to create hundreds of jobs and business opportunities for local firms engaged to maintain the solar farms and generation plants,” the statement said.

Zambia is in talks with South African power utility Eskom to import 300 megawatts MW, Energy Minister Mathew Nkhuwa said in September, adding that retail prices could double once imports begin.

Zambia cut its economic growth forecast to around 2% for 2019, from an estimated 4%, due to the impact of the drought on its power supply and agricultural production.

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21 COMMENTS

    • Yes foreigners, please come and do it for us. Ours are still dozing 55 years of independence. I learnt to properly install my solar arrangement through a DIY exercise. I am shocked that Zambia has to depend on foreigners to do that job. Empower ZNS Engineers to install solars please. Import products and DIY Zambia plizi.
      Damn! I see those panels are in the habit of consuming sizable stretches of land. I am thinking, why don’t you elevate them a little bit so that you can give me land under them for my faming. Gearing for solar-human conflict on land issues.

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    • I’m too refined to be worried about where they site it. By calling myself Zambian, it means I am part of something bigger than my home province. But this doesn’t blind me to the imperial attitudes of some of my compatriots, thanks to UNIP govt’s policy of undermining some languages even as they found them already written and being used as a medium of instruction in early schooling. Who says Mpika has more sunshine than anywhere else in Zambia? This is more likely to be a superstitious belief.

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    • This deal won’t go far… The Japanese like to play clean. But we don’t play clean. That’s where the Chinese come in. We will soon hear about millions pouring out of Zambian tax payers pockets

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  1. Great!! We should have more than two of these solar power plants as we have enough land for such projects. And they should be in different places. Individuals with the financial muscle should also have a full solar package installed at their properties to reduce the pressure on the hydro power.

    We should then also look at nuclear and wind sources of power and have these plants in suitable locations. There is no harm in getting experts from outside the country to do it for us the first time and have our people trained so that in future we could have Zambians or Zambian companies to continue with installations and maintenance. This will give Zesco some competition and reduce if not halt the monopoly altogether.
    The government may also want to look at zero rating all products to do with…

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    • This is not only about technical skills. It’s about refocusing local business to invest in such lifeline businesses. People like HH, GBM, Kambwili should be pooling their capital to invest in these businesses. It’s not only Japanese who can venture into this

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  2. Good Investments initiatives we cold also upscale quickly partnering with firms like KWh Analytics for country wide Investments in solar to achieve a surplus reserve margin to help cushion the including Black rock ,”distributed solar Development Distributed Solar development a venture with GE raised $ 250m for its similar solar projects and could partner to raise for the Zambian Market to help address the resources needs and delivery of capacity of up to more than 800 Mw in installed solar capacity

    The complementary innititives from Japan are very welcome and positive towards addressing KWh Analytics is US but Japanese in that sense and has presence

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  3. Sounds good. We just need five more private companies to come up with solar power stations of the same size to plug the deficit in power production and turn into a net exporter of power

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  4. I have been saying GRZ should have invested heavily in local solar product assembly and manufacture.

    Zambia should have been well ahead of Africa in exports of solar products if they had…….

    A lesson for Africans , don’t take natural things like rainfall for granted.

    The next I am saying GRZ should invest heavily in dams and irrigation canals.
    I know I will be saying I told you so in 2 years time…..

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  5. These are the kind of projects that Zambian banks should jostle to finance not to steal our money in weird charges. Can someone explain what inactivity fees mean?

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  6. The problem with us Africans is that we only know two businesses that is Owning a taxi or owning a bar. We should diversify into solar power provision, mining, food processing, recycling cellphone manufacturing vonse ivi vifuna ma Investors

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  7. What is it we lack that we can’t develop own panels instead of just being maintenance specialists? Our engineers where’re we?

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    • We are here but no political will to motivate us,so ffirst tell your political leader to change their mindset

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    • Engineers are busy checking other citizens ‘ penises instead of developing needed gadgets. They have now become the doctors who diagnose small penis syndrome

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