THE Government has commissioned the second 180 megawatt generator at the Kariba North Bank in Siavonga to add an extra 360 megawatts to the electricity national grid aimed at reducing load-shedding.
Vice-President Guy Scott said with the additional installation to the national grid, load-shedding experienced during the last six years would be significantly reduced, thereby impacting positively on industrial, commercial and social activities.
“As the Patriotic Front (PF) Government, our vision for the country is to have a nation where all citizens, regardless of where they live (urban or rural), have access to electricity,” he said.
Dr Scott was speaking in Siavonga yesterday when Sino Hydro Corporation handed over to the Government a second 180 megawatt generator at the Kariba North Bank.
President Michael Sata last year commissioned the first generator with the same capacity.
The total cost for the two generators is US$421.1 million and was financed by China Exim Bank and the Development Bank of Southern Africa.
Earlier, Dr Scott urged Zesco to curb illegal connections as the vice was depriving the legal beneficiaries of electricity.
“We cannot keep supplying power to people who are stealing it but as far as people who are legal customers for power are concerned, there is no shortage. If the lights are out, it is the distribution which is affected due to illegal connections and I will urge the management at Zesco to get on top of things,” he said.
The Vice-President said the Government could not keep supplying power to people who were busy stealing it and that the situation should come to an end.
Dr Scott said there was no point in building generators while people kept stealing electricity and causing artificial power outages.
Zesco Board chairperson Katema Mutale said the additional power from the generator would help to reduce load-shedding because it had been very high in the recent past due to increased demand and inadequate power supply.
“We at Zesco wish to assure our customers and the nation at large that this is just the beginning of the expansion of our power generation portfolio as we plan to add more than 1,000 megawatts by 2019 through other projects across the country,” Mr Mutale said.
Chinese Ambassador to Zambia, Yang Youming said his country would continue to help Zambia in the development of hydropower generation.
In a vote of thanks, Senior Chief Chipepo of Siavonga thanked the Government for considering the poor people in rural areas.
“You could have put this hydro station in Lusaka but you decided to look at the poor and brought it here, we are very thankful for this gesture,” he said.
The senior chief said that the Zambezi Valley chiefs would continue working with the PF Government.
Times of Zambia