Zambia’s primary energy resources – biomass, coal and hydro power – account for over 99% of the electricity produced nation-wide. However, the country has recently began importing electricity to meet the steady growth in demand (4% a year since 2005) resulting from high a combination of population growth and increased production in the mining sector, and aging hydro power and transmission infrastructure.
Lack of investments combined with the increase in demand has led to regular power cuts, which hampers growth in leading economic sectors such as mining. It is estimated that by 2020, electricity demand will skyrocket to 20,000 GWh, meaning that consumption will double compared to 2012.
The project is part of a program comprising the construction of a hydro power plant and the construction of a power transmission line. AFD’s financing concerns the 276 km-long transmission line and the reinforcement of the associated substations, from the Itezhi Tezhi Dam to Lusaka, the capital. Specifically, AFD will finance:
- The construction of the transmission line for the Itezhi Tezhi Dam in Mumbwa, with a voltage of 220 kV over a distance of 142 km;
- The construction of the Mumbwa substation, comprising 330/220/33 kV transformers, with 33 kV lines to supply Mumbwa and the surrounding area;
- The construction of a 134 km-long 330 kV transmission line from Mumbwa to Lusaka;
- The extension and renovation of the Lusaka West substation to accommodate the new lines, e. 330/132/33 kV transformers.
Zambian economic growth, driven mainly by the mining industry, depends on the reliability of energy supply. This project will help fill the electricity generation gap and improve the country's energy security. In addition, the project will help increase the share of renewable energies in a region where coal constitutes over 90% of the energy mix.
From a social perspective, the project will strengthen and expand the distribution grid on the outskirts of Mumbwa and Itezhi Tezhi, which will provide some 50,000 people with access to electricity.
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