Zambia invites investors for solar power plant construction

The Zambian government has started inviting expressions of interest from investors willing to construct a total of 30 megawatts of solar power plants and mini- grids in the southern African nation, the Post of Zambia reported on Monday.

The government is proposing that the solar power plants should be constructed on a build, own and operate bases in four of the country’s 10 provinces.

Ministry of Energy Permanent Secretary George Zulu said the electricity produced would be fed into the national grid at a tariff to be negotiated in the power purchased agreement with successful bidders.

Over 90 percent of Zambia’s electricity comes from hydro power plants but the increased demand for electricity has put a strain on the power plants, resulting in frequent power cuts.

State power utility-Zesco said over the week-end that t needs up to 5 billion USdollars in the next five years to improve power generation capacity. The power utility generates 1,800 megawatts of power with peak demand estimated at 1,600 megawatts but forecasts demand to also rise sharply over the coming years.