Lusaka, September 7, 2012 - Zambia’s Minister of Finance, Alexander Chikwanda and World Bank Country Director for Zambia, Malawi and Zimbabwe, Kundhavi Kaderesan signed a US$60 million IDA credit that will assist the country to reinforce the existing electricity transmission network and increase Zesco’s power transfer capacity to Kafue town and the Southern Province. The development objective of the project is to improve the reliability of Zesco’s regional power trade transmission network infrastructure along the Kafue Town – Muzuma – Victoria Falls corridor.
According to the Task Team Leader of the Project, Bobak Rezaian, the project will have three components. The first phase will focus on replacing the existing 220kV transmission line with a new 330 kV transmission line from Kafue to Livingstone. The upgrade will increase the power transmission capacity to satisfy the growing domestic power demands not only in the Southern Province but also across the border to Namibia and Zimbabwe.
Complementing these improvements, the second phase involves constructing a new 330/220kV substation in Livingstone and upgrading the two substations at Kafue town and Muzumato. This will create a functioning transmission system which will provide a high level of security and an enhanced quality of supply for the regional power trade. Moreover, the improved system configurations will allow Zesco the capacity to satisfy increased demands at Kafue town.
The third component will focus on project management, training, and environmental and social mitigation.
Commenting on the project, Country Director for Zambia, Malawi and Zimbabwe, Kundhavi Kadiresan said, “Access to electricity is very vital for all round development in Zambia. Its location also provides opportunity for regional trade in electricity. Zambia should therefore take advantage of its great potential to further develop its resource-rich economy through infrastructure improvements, particularly by further developments in the energy sector.”
Finance Minister, Alexander Chikwanda who signed on behalf of the Zambian government lauded the World Bank financing saying it would help fill gaps in the country’s power requirement. He said a viable energy sector is critical to achieving sustainable economic growth and development in the country as it is a vital input into all sectors of the economy.
“The World Bank should be praised for the commitment it has shown to Zambia’s development. It is a true and all weather cooperating partner,” he said.