Zambia to overcome electricity deficit by August 2020 – Zesco

By Staff Reporter

THE Power utility company, ZESCO has so far spent US$800 million on the hydro power potential project in the Kafue gorge intended to increase generation capacities by 2020.

Briefing the parliamentary committee on national economy, trade and labour matters at KGL, ZESCO director for generation Fidelis Mubiana disclosed that the US$2.2 billion project was expected to be completed by August 2020.

He said the project would tap water from the Kafue river to help power the Kafue Gorge Upper power station.

Mubiana said that once completed, the project will be able to add about 750 Mega Watts which will be able to reduce the current 203 deficit the country was currently experiencing.

And Parliamentary Committee chairperson Situmbeko Musokotwane expressed delight that the project was finally able to produce electricity after a long time of planning.

Dr. Musokotwane said the visit by the committee follows a study embarked by parliament through the committee on the benefits of the economic relationship of Zambia and China.

Meanwhile, committee member, UPND Mufumbwe member of parliament Elias Kamondo told ZESCO to consider exploring alternative electricity generation sources other than hydro power to cushion the adverse effects of drought.

And the Parliamentary Committee on Budget has expressed concern with the lack of value addition in the cotton industry despite the country producing the best lint in the region.

Committee chairperson Mwalimu Simfukwe who led a team of parliamentary committee members to Mumbwa on a tour of NWK and Mumbwa cotton ginneries said the committee was in the district to understand the cotton value chain as the district was the highest producer of the fiber crop.

Speaking when he paid a courtesy on Mumbwa District Commissioner Felix Ndopu, Simfukwe said that his committee has been investigating the country’s huge trade deficit as the nation’s imports were more than exports.

He said the collapse of the textile industry during the 1990s had robbed Zambia a lot of revenue as it relied on imports in all cotton products despite producing and processing the cotton.

And Ndopu said that there was need to revamp the Mulungushi textiles so that there was ready market for the cotton whilst creating employment opportunities in the province.