Zambia to pay remaining Kafue bills

06 Jun, 2022 - 00:06 0 Views
Zambia to pay remaining Kafue bills Minister Kapala

The Herald

LUSAKA. – The remaining construction works at the US$2,3 billion Kafue Gorge power project are being financed by Zesco and alternative funds after EXIM Bank of China froze funding to the Kafue Gorge Lower project, Energy Minister Peter Kapala has announced.

Mr Kapala says Zesco is generating internal revenue to ensure that works at the 750 mega watts Kafue Gorge Lower project are completed early and all the turbines come online.

He said whereas government is not looking at asking Exim Bank to unfreeze funding to the project, negotiations with China to restructure and reschedule the Kafue Gorge Lower project debt are on course and there is goodwill from China who know that the new dawn government means business.

The Minister has, however, assured in a statement that the exporting of power will not lead to load-shedding as is being suggested in some quarters of society.

“The remaining construction works at the $2,3 billion Kafue Gorge power project are being financed by ZESCO and alternative funds after EXIM Bank of China froze funding to the Kafue Gorge Lower project because the PF government defaulted on payments based on the loan agreement. 

ZESCO is generating internal revenue to ensure that works at the 750 megawatts Kafue Gorge Lower project are completed early and all the turbines come online.

“Whereas we are not looking at asking Exim Bank to unfreeze funding to the project, negotiations with China to restructure and reschedule the Kafue Gorge Lower project debt are on course. There is goodwill from China. 

“China knows that the New Dawn Government means business and that we shall abide by the contracts and agreements we have with them. The Kafue Gorge Lower Power plant was designed to have 5 turbines, each producing 150MW. At least two of the five turbines have been fully installed. 

“In fact, in April 2022, ZESCO indicated that two machines at Kafue Gorge were operational and were producing 300 megawatts while a third one was undergoing a reliability test. They also revealed that the fourth turbine was also earmarked for commissioning soon as final works were ongoing.”

Zambia anticipates that the project, which has seen the employment of over 4 000 people, who worked alongside more than Chinese workers, will be completed this November. 

Once completed and at full production, Kafue Gorge Lower will ensure that Zambia becomes a net exporter of electricity. Zambia will be able to sell electricity to our neighbours at good tariffs, which will be able to pay outstanding debt. – Lusaka Times.

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