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The Energy Regulation Board (ERB) has signed an investment endorsement agreement with Itezhi Tezhi Power Corporation Limited to facilitate the development of a power generation project in Zambia
The project is estimated to cost $230mn over a 41-month construction period.
According to ERB executive director Butler Sitali, ITPC has been granted a licence to develop, operate and maintain a 120MW power generation plant at Itezhi Tezhi.
ERB would continue to support new investments in power generation in order to help meet the growing national demand for electricity.
“ZESCO peak demand currently stands at about 1,580 MW while available generation capacity stands at about 1,400 MW and installed capacity at 1,739 MW,” Mr. Sitali elaborated.
In view of the project, ZESCO would access 120 MW additional power from the new plant to be developed at Itezhi Tezhi. This additional capacity would address the electricity deficit the country is currently facing.
There has not been an major development of generation facilities in the country in many years and the power sector is yearning for investment, Mr Sitali observed.
There are a number of major projects in the pipeline due to the increasing demand for power. These include the Kariba North Bank Extension Project, Ndola Energy Company, Kalungwishi Hydropower Project, Kafue Gorge Lower and Kabompo Hydro Power project.
“It is encouraging to see new investments in electricity generation coming up in different parts of the country,” Mr Sitali enthused.
The implementation of these projects is testimony of the good regulatory environment provided by the ERB in the sector.
Recently, ERB granted regulatory approval for a power purchase agreement (PPA) between ZESCO, the national utility firm, and Itezhi Tezhi Power Corporation. The agreement allows the two companies to trade in electricity once the construction of the ITezhi Tezhi power plant is completed.
By Nawa Mutumweno