Government says it is saddened that some districts in the country that are still not connected to the National Grid as the country celebrates 50 years of Independence.
Mines Energy and Water Development Deputy Minister Charles Zulu says Lukulu District in particular in Western Province is still supplied by diesel generated power which has been characterized inadequate capacity, low liability of supply and high operational cost.
He said ZESCO in Lukulu District alone spends around K500 000 per month on diesel and that the revenue collected is only K60 000 saying the cost is higher.
ZANIS reports that the minister said this during the stakeholders’ awareness and engagement meeting on North Western Grid Extension Project that took place at Lukulu District Council Chambers , May 7th.
Mr. Zulu said That the project being implemented of connecting Lukulu District and other district in North Western Province to the National Grid will lessen the cost to ZESCO.
The Deputy Minister said the project score includes some extension works at ZESCO’s Lumwana mine Sub-station constructing 132 KV transmission lines from Lumwana mines Sub- station to Mwinilunga and to some district in North Western as well as to Lukulu District in Western Province.
He mentioned that Mufumbwe, Kabompo, Mumbezi, Zambezi and Chavuma are some of the districts to be connected to the National Grid in North Western as well as Lukulu District in Western Province under North Western Grid Extension Project.
Mr. Zulu said raising the required project financing had delayed the implementation of the project saying about 163 million dollars will be spent on the project.
He stated that in Lukulu District the project commenced a year ago in which ZESCO started working on the lines and cutting down of trees before they received the money for the project.
The Deputy Minister said the contractor ELTEL networks AB of Sweden will be on the site next month adding that more than 1000 jobs will be created and that the project will be implemented in the next 2 years.
He has since commended ZESCO for the initiative and further called on the stakeholders to cooperate with the contractor who will be working hand in hand with ZESCO.
Lukulu District in Western Province has been operating on diesel Gen-Sets since 1984.