Thursday, June 13, 2024

Why did PF Cancel the MMD’s Kafue Lower Hydro Power Project in 2011?


By: Anthony Bwalya – UPND Member

The investment vehicle for the construction of the 600MW – 750MW Kafue Lower Hydro Power Project was secured by the MMD government, with the project originally to have been concluded in 2015. The agreement was inked in 2010 by the then Minister of Finance Situmbeko Musokotwane, with construction commencement having been planned for April 2011.

The project was to be funded through an investment vehicle between Zambia, together with China Africa Development Fund and Sino-hydro; for $1.5bn.

The first thing the Patriotic Front (PF) did on assuming public office in 2011 was to irregularly disrupt the project for no credible reasons. The project lay dormant for almost another 5 years, only to emerge as a $2bn project – the same project but costing another $500m

Had the PF not fiddled with this project back in 2011, the Zambian economy would have been registering consistent GDP growth averaging anything between 4% – 5% between 2015 to date. But because of the electricity crisis, we had in 2015 – 2016, and now 2019 – 2020, thanks to the partisan economic sabotage perpetrated by the PF regime.

The PF owe Zambians a couple of answers: Why was the Kafue Lower Hydro project canceled in 2011? Also, why was there a $500m spike in the cost of the same project under the PF as opposed to the initial $1.5bn under the MMD?

And Zambians must remember, that if we do not conclude this project by the summer of 2020, we will be trouble again.

Now we know, that because of the excessive public debt which is bearing heavily on the government’s ability to service debt as it falls due, the Chinese are no longer prepared to write blank cheques for the PF to abuse. The Chinese now know that it is no longer in their national interest to maintain a toxic relationship with the PF administration firmly anchored on corruption. It means the Chinese government will never be able to recover their money.

China has also realized that it has been a friend of the Zambian people for over 50 years, and China will not destroy Zambia for the sake of the PF. It is in the best interest of China and the Chinese people, as much as it is beneficial to Zambia and her citizens, for the Chinese government to whip the PF back in line.


  1. Bob Sichinga addressed that issue on the “Oxygen of Democracy” program on Prime TV.
    According to him,the PF had to stop the Kafue lower project because it was “padded” with corruption.

  2. Based on what Bob Sichinga said the project cost should have been less than the $1.5 billion . Maybe even $1 billion.
    With the current estimated $2billion. Only god knows how much the PF have pocketed.

  3. These PF people should go they have taken Zambia as their own personal to holder property see how Kaiser Zulu used to talk he said I will make sure PF wins 2021 elections again is he the one who is going to vote the whole country rigging in 2021 should be stopped by all means and the opposition should open there eyes starting from now if not careful the rigging will happen in Dubai where the ballot papers are to be printed Ecz have already started saying they don’t have enough money to pay for inspectors to go to Dubai that’s a nice strategy for rigging opposition parties open your eyes don’t sleep too much and wait for 2021 only, rigging starts now NRC issue should also be monitored to make sure no under age is given NRcs and no Congolese or Malawins are given on the bolder towns this…

  4. Same story with the Lusaka International Airport. The problem with Zambia is not Lungu but PF and Sata orchestrated the rot that we are witnessing

  5. The Power Station once done, should be named After Rupia Banda because it was under his leadership when the deal for it’s construction, was signed for…..Truth be told..

  6. These are questions all have ask! Why suspend a Project on suscipicions of corruption only to resume it 3 years later at even a higher cost with the same construction firm? It appears Sata wanted to solve the problem but after he died the project resumed under Lungu with a higher cost! He should one day tell us what happened??

  7. It’s all to do with the corruption syndrome we Zambians are addicted to. RB and his administration were found with no cases to answer, that’s why Dora is a free woman today. Since Levy’s unfounded corruption persecutions, spured in by the Fred Mmembe and his satanic post newspaper, the country got addicted to “corruption” drama which were unproven. We thank God ECL has embraced his predecessors in the MMD and included them in his administration without persecuting them on trumped up corruption falsities. Upnd threatens to reintroduce these persecutions if voted into power!!

  8. Zambian Citizen: Continue deluding yourself. Hw money moves around the world is documented. Those who need to know are in the know. Ask RB wht he found in the office of President at State House whn he took over after LPM’s death. He has said it publicly while visiting South Africa in a meeting with Zambians resident in that country. He said “voonse ninavipeza” and it was easy to continue.

  9. Where are we at?

    Let’s roll, Kafue Lower Power project is on course and Africa Confidential aka Cambridge Analytica is boo booing again. HAnthony is in reverse.

  10. Its within the lower and upper tolerable limits The Global weighted average of Levelised cost for delivering New Power Plants commissioned between 2011 and 2019 average $0.03–0.05 per kWh That is hydro power Plants of the Likes of Kafue Gorge lower and It’s within the global acceptable estimates from 2011 to 2019 available apart from the specifics of the Kafue Gorge lower power plant and Financing conditions
    What the writer has written is not factually correct and is misleading The Cost estimate is within the upper and lower limit based on the profile of the plant taking an average of $0.04 per Mw in the 750Mw On Kafue Gorge lower construction and installations specific Investments costs

  11. They appeared also to have managed the project well keeping variations below acceptable 20% variations if not any looking at the magnitude of the project
    Credit and criticism should be given when its due but in this case they have achieved and let hope and look to commercial operations and commissioning now They have delivered on construction and its expected commissioning will be even easier

    They have achieved and within acceptable cost also

  12. Well at capacity factor of between 25 to 90 Its still competitively done let see commercial and how installations will be He is wrong He must actually give the contractors and Zesco a Plus for a surprise achievement
    He need to have a complete understand of the project implementing process and distinguish signing of memorandums understand how the pre-feasibility and actual feasibility studies fit in then the ceremonial commissioning to projects processes of engagement of lead consultants and transaction advisors ,the engagement of EPC contractors and how the designs and projects strategies are finally closed into the Financial strategies before actual project construction. The nature of hydro…

  13. projects require this for effective and efficient implementation and reduce the risks of those uncertainties It cannot be rushed and fast so simply to achieve deadlines but those miles stones in time must be measurable and quantified The geology there and topography is challenging and if they have manged it’s a plus within those cost limits because it could a hindrance and challenge for most EPC contractors to undertake
    The writer should critically review the processes in hydro power project development process and see what is considered critical project timelines and see the costs of installed generation plant now at 750 Mw

    He should be allowed to tour the site and understand he does not…

  14. In 20 yrs MMD did not build 1 single major new power station. All that was there in 2010 was an MoU for Kafue Gorge Lower. Some may think things are not rosy now but our criticisms should be genuine. In last 10yrs Kariba has been extended by 360mw at cost of USD420m, Itezhi Itezhi has been built at cost of USD220m to add another 120mw, Maamba has been built at cost of USD900m to add 300mw, Bangweulu & Ngonye solar plants are adding another 100mw at a cost of USD120m, and soon Kafue Gorge Lower will add 750mw at cost of USD2b. That is an addition of 1,630mw in 10 years to double the 2010 capacity. That is remarkable and more than even what UNIP achieved in 27 years by adding 990mw at current Kafue Gorge during their tenure! God Bless Zambia

  15. Thank you, Chosen One for clarifying what this upnd bonehead Bwalya is trying to twist so that the PF looks incompetent. The sad part is a lot of people know the truth and will not vote for upnd because they are trying to lie their way into power.

  16. You have understated the added capacity its more than 1800 Mw including self generations and other IPPs ,The ITT could not be compared to Kafue Gorge lowwer in costs its much competitive The Chinese are ware of reputational damage that could arise with the failure to commission and operational the kafue gorge lower 750 Mw Its in their interest to commission the 750 Mw power at competitive price and avoid overruns remember there are in competition and showcasing this projects hoping to bid for more construction of hydro power projects like the grand Inga 3 batoka and others in the regions in competition with China 3 gorges and others They will need to deliver the project to Zesco…

  17. without fail or delay and at reasonable cost

    You should also mention of additional economics from those Installed capacities will be helpful to the writer to put in right perspective Mention of the transition and transformation of the energy regulatory environment also should be observed

  18. Very very sad reading, if this is a true story the PF made a serious mistake. Apparently a number of projects started by MMD where stalled when PF came to power. The airport (KKI), Lunzua, Kafue gorge and the list goes on. This behaviour must not repeat itself. Surely Zambia is bigger than all these political parties/clubs, these are merely vehicles entrusted with the responsibility of running the country’s affairs. PF you messed up. You must appologise.

  19. RB , SATA and Lungu all thieves. Need to be prosecuted and in case of Data money shall be recovered from his family members and concubines. Lungu and Rupiah shall be paraded naked till they brought ng every ngwee they took out

  20. “The project lay dormant for almost another 5 years, only to emerge as a $2bn project – the same project but costing another $500m.” How the author expects the cost of a project or any commodity to cost the same five years later is beyond me. According to the International Renewable Energy Agency, IRENA, the installed costs for large-scale hydropower projects typically range from a low of USD 1 000/kW to around USD 3 500/kW or USD 1 million/mW to USD 3.5 million/mW. Since the installed capacityis 750mW the cost range is USD 750 million to USD 2,625 USD 2.65 billion. The cost of the Kafue Gorge Lower Hydropower Project is within the acceptable cost range. However, what is undeniable is that load shedding would have been greatly reduced had the project been implemented earlier.

  21. The writer obviously didn’t think people like Chosen one, retired engineer or Napthali will read his tripe and expose his ignorance on a matter he has hardly researched! He is trying too hard to find fault with the ruling party but little does he know that he can get even some respect by acknowledging some gains these guys have made and then probably point to how they could still have done it better.

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