ZAMBIA is expected to triple its power output to 6,000 megawatts (mw) in two years through solar power plants to be set up by foreign investors, Zambia Development Agency (ZDA) director general Patrick Chisanga has said.
Mr Chisanga said ZDA is in talks with German and Italian companies.
Mr Chisanga said a German firm is planning to invest US$500 million in a solar power plant.
“It is planned that they [German firm] could produce about 400 megawatts of power in two steps. This is still at discussion stage but the investor is very keen and we envisage that early in the first quarter of next year, we should see some serious development on the ground,” Mr Chisanga said.
This is according to a statement issued in Lusaka yesterday by ZDA communications and public relations manager Margaret Chimanse.
Mr Chisanga said a group of investors from Italy are looking at setting up a solar plant in the Lusaka South Multi-facility Economic Zone and two others in the Western and North-Western provinces.
“The proposals they put on the table suggest to me that these are very serious investors and they have the capability as well as the financial capacity to invest,” he said.
Mr Chisanga said a number of new investments, including that by Africa’s richest man, Nigeria’s Aliko Dangote, whose firm has opened a cement plant, are setting up their own power plants and aim to feed any surplus into the national electricity grid.
Mr Chisanga also said ZDA has issued an investment licence to Sunbird Investments Ltd, which wants to put up a US$150 million biofuel plant using cassava.
“The totality of all this should help us to ramp our production of power to the levels that we need to get to ,which is ultimately about 6,000 megawatts,” he said.