Zambia to complete 50 MW World Bank solar project in September

09 May 2018

Zambia will complete its first large-scale 50 MW solarpower generation plant in September this year as the nation battles a power deficit which threatens industrial output, a state-owned agency said on Tuesday.

The electricity shortfall has forced Africa‘s second-largest copper producer to ration power supply to the mines, the biggest consumers. The $60-million project in Lusaka is being financed through a combination of equity and debt, a spokeswoman for the state-owned Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) said.

The power project is being undertaken with Neoen/First Solar.

“The IFC and OPIC are providing the debt while the shareholders Neoen/First Solar and IDC have provided the equity,” IDC spokesperson Namakau Mukelabai said, referring to the World Bank’s financing arm and a US government agency that helps American businesses invest in emerging markets.

The World Bank programme aims to help governments deliver cheap and clean energy by helping them run competitive auctions and reduce investment risks.

Mukelabai said a second 50 MW solarpowerproject undertaken with Enel Green Power was expected to reach a financial close within the second quarter of 2018.

The two bidders had put their tariffs at 6.02 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh) and 7.84 cents per kWh, respectively, and the proposed tariffs would remain fixed for 25 years.

Mukelabai said a second round of bidding for large-scale solar projects was planned for up to 300 MW and would be spread in the CopperbeltCentralEastern and Lusaka provinces. 

Related articles

Read the latest issue

Latest Issue