South African firm plans to build 235 MW power plant in Zambia


LUSAKA, March 31 (Reuters) – A South African company plans to build a dam and 235 megawatt (MW) hydroelectric power station costing about $1.26 billion in Zambia to help plug a power shortage, Zambia’s embassy in Pretoria said on Friday.

Zambia generates about 2,600 MW, mostly from hydropower stations. Generation is running below capacity because of poor rainfall. Alongside growing demand for electricity, this has left the country with a deficit of about 600 MW.

MDH South Africa (Pty) Ltd has proposed being an anchor developer for the Ndevu Gorge Power Project which is planned on the Luangwa River in eastern Zambia, the embassy statement said.

“The company has since made an application for authority to proceed with feasibility through Ministry of Energy,” it said.

The Ndevu Gorge Hydro Power project involved building dam on the Luangwa River to create a lake that is 165 km long and 17 km wide at its broadest point, and which would drive a 235 MW power station, the statement said.

It said the initial estimate the construction cost was $1.26 billion. “This figure could change during the feasibility phase as the design aspects are finalised,” it said.

MDH South Africa was in discussions with investors and expected to conclude funding negotiations after the government issued the authority to proceed with feasibility, it said.

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