Vice President Guy Scott says the extension of the Kariba North Bank Power Station will lead to a significant reduction in the load shedding in the country.
Speaking in Siavonga yesterday when he launched the 360 Megawatts Generators, Dr Scott said the upgrade will also better the lives of Zambians in both rural and urban areas.
The Vice President said it is the desire of government that all Zambians should have access to electricity adding that the extension of the Karina North Bank power station is a step towards attainment of that vision.
He said in order to improve electricity supply in the country, government is encouraging private companies to invest in power generation.
Dr Scott said he is happy that some companies such as Sioma Hydro have responded positively to the call.
He said the installation of two generators with a combined capacity of 360 megawatts is a huge milestone which will result in improved livelihood for the Zambian people.
Dr Scott said investment in the power sector will help address the lack of investment in the sector for over 30 years.
He paid tribute to the China Import and Export Bank and the Southern African Development Bank for helping to fund the project.
And Chinese Ambassador to Zambia Youming Yang said the handover of generators is a perfect gift for Zambia’s commemoration of 50 years of independence.
Mr Yang said the improved electricity supply will result in the country’s economic growth as electricity is a major driver of industry.
He said Zambia’s demand for electricity has grown with the rise in the country’s population thereby necessitating need for expansion of the power generation facilities.
Mr Yang said the construction of the expansion of Kariba power station by SINOHYDRO, a Chinese company is evidence of the existing warm relations between Zambia and China.
The Chinese Ambassador said the relations between Zambia and his Country have been mutual because both parties have benefitted from the other.
He said increased power supply capacity will contribute to economic growth as well as better the lives of ordinary citizens.
Mr Yang added that his government will encourage Chinese companies to invest in sectors that will help better the lives of the Zambian people.
And ZESCO Board Chairperson Katema Mutale said the additional generators will go a long way in reducing load shedding.
Mr Mutale said the ZESCO will further increase its power generation capacity by 1000 megawatts by 2019.
The generation expansion project which started in 2008 has cost ZESCO $420 million.
The completion of the project has seen ZESCO increase its power generation capacity from 1840 megawatts to 2200 megawatts.