Foreign investor to set up ethanol plant in Kwambwa. Is it Mahtani?

Sunbird Bioenergy
Sunbird Bioenergy

A foreign investor has expressed interest to set up an ethanol production plant in Kawambwa district in Luapula Province

District Administrative Officer (DAO), Mwita Kasengele confirmed this at the recent District Development Coordinating Committee (DDCC) meeting held at the council chambers.

Mr Kasengele named the foreign investor as Sunbird.

He, however, could not disclose the country from which the investor is coming from but said the firm needs large quantities of cassava in the area to enable it start the production of ethanol.

Mr Kasengele revealed that Sunbird has been allocated land in Muyembe area of Kawambwa district along the old Mansa – Kawambwa gravel road.

And the expected development to establish an ethanol plant in the area has brought joy among the District Development Coordinating Committee (DDCC) members.

In separate interviews with ZANIS, some DDCC members said this will boost cassava growing in the area especially that most of the subsistence farmers had concentrated on growing maize.

They also noted that the development will create employment among the people of not only Kawambwa but Luapula Province as a whole.

Mr Kasengele has implored all the DDCC members to embrace the project and give it maximum support.

In another development, plans are underway for ZESCO to put up or connect the 48 Marine Unit at the Marine Barracks with electricity in Kawambwa district of Luapula Province.

Zambia Electricity Supply Cooperation (ZESCO), Senior Social Scientist, Kambi Sikabi disclosed this at the recent extraordinary (DDCC) meeting held at the council chambers.

Mr Sikabi says this is in a bid to provide power for the soldiers at the Marine barracks.

He however said ZESCO has started consultative meetings with stakeholders such as traditional leaders and government departments through the DDCC before the project starts.

Mr Sikabi notes that ZESCO is doing so, so as to follow the Zambia Management Agency (ZEMA) guidelines.

He said the phase one is baseline data collection but adds that ZESCO will look at a route with less impact.

Mr Kabi said the overhead power line to be connected to the Marine barracks is 11 Kilovolt (KV).

He further said the power line once erected will also benefit the local people.

THE “foreign investor”

In Zambia, Mahtani Group has teamed with Sunbird group to invest $150 million in ethanol production. The facility to be located in Luapula province will use cassava as feedstock—the first in the country—with construction expected to start in November. The region produces abundant cassava but much of it goes to waste.



UK’s Sunbird Inks $150m Cassava Ethanol Deal In Zambia


VENTURES AFRICA – The UK-based Sunbird Group has entered into a partnership with Zambia’s Mahtani Group to construct $150 million ethanol plant in Luapula Province to boost the country’s energy sector.

“Construction of the bio-ethanol plant is expected to start in November this year and the project is expected to create over 2,000 direct job opportunities and 5,000 indirect jobs comprising out-grower farmers,” said Mahtani Group group chairperson Rajan Mahtani

“The significance of this project is that it is going to be the first project that will be using cassava to extract bio-ethanol for fuel and that will help in going green,” he said.

The energy and mining sector are the two most important drivers of growth in Zambia although the energy sector can have a more transformative impact as it has a direct bearing on all avenues of society.

Zambia has abundant hydroelectric resources and meets most of its energy needs from its own hydroelectric stations, with 99.9 percent of produced electricity coming from hydro sources.

Installed electricity generation capacity in Zambia is at about 1,789MW out of which 1,676 is hydropower despite the nation’s undeveloped generation capacity of about over 6,000MW.


About Sunbird Bioenergy

  • Address
    363 N Sam Houston Pkwy E, Houston, Texas TX 77060
  • Short Description
    Sunbird Bioenergy is helping communities in Sub Saharan Africa to implement modern farming practices that will increase the yield of sustainable cassava.
  • Long Description
    Sunbird Bioenergy is an alternative-energy company that is building a portfolio of projects in Sub-Saharan Africa. We develop value-added projects that produce bioethanol from sustainable agricultural feedstock.

    Our aim is to help governments in Sub-Saharan Africa to implement their farming modernisation programs and meet their rural development goals.

  • Mission
    Our objective is to work with local communities in Sub-Saharan Africa to implement modern farming methods that produce susta See More
  • Products
    Agricultural Feedstock: Cassava, Sugar Cane, Sorghum and Corn.
  • Phone
    +44 207148 3148