Energy Minister Mathew Nkhuwa on Thursday launched Mphepo Power Metrological Mast for a 200 MW wind power project in Katete, Eastern Province.
The Metrological Mast is for the UNIKA 1 wind project and is capturing wind data needed for the project, which will start construction in early 2021.
The project will help alleviate the countrywide power shortages in line with the Government’s strategy to mitigate the effects of climate change.
Zambian renewable energy developer Mphepo Power Ltd has erected a 120m Metrological Mast for its 200 MW wind project in the Eastern Province.
This is the first major milestone in the development of the UNIKA 1 wind project, which will have an investment value of over USD 350 million and will be one of the largest private sector investments ever in Eastern Province.
Mphepo Power intends on starting construction on this wind farm in the first half of 2021 and the project will create 850 jobs during construction.
More Jobs will be created once the project is operational.
Priority will be given to Zambians and women will be given equal opportunities for employment.
Mphepo Power is a Zambian company whose shareholders include the Chewa Development Trust (CDT) on behalf of His Majesty Kalonga Gawa Undi.
In this partnership, profits from the project will be used by the Chewa Development Trust for development projects in the Community and in the Chewa Kingdom.
The UNIKA 1 wind farm is located north of Katete in the Eastern Province.
There are further planned phases to expand the project once Unika 1 is completed.
Mphepo Power is currently working on the project development in order to gain all consents and studies needed to ensure that construction begins.
Initial data shows that the UNIKA wind resource is good throughout the year but particularly in the dry season when Zambian hydro resources are at their lowest.
Also, wind generation is available in the evening which will help Zesco cover the evening electricity peak.
Mphepo Power is working closely with the Ministry of Energy, Office for Promoting Private Power Investment (OPPPI), Zesco and the Chewa Kingdom to ensure that the project is completed on schedule.
“This milestone reinforces the strong position of Mphepo Power in the Zambian electricity market,” commented Sipho Phiri, Mphepo Power Chairman.
“We are delighted to commit to development in Zambia and it is important indicator that the Zambian private sector is working alongside Government to find solutions to our current power challenges. The 200MW UNIKA 1 wind project is part of this Zambian solution.”