ZESCO Limited Deputy Director for transmission Clement Siame has called on private investors to take advantage of the liberalized energy sector to set up power generation plants to meet the increasing demand of electricity in the country.
Mr Siame says the perception that ZESCO has monopolised power generation in the country is wrong because about 46 percent of the power generated in the country comes from independent power producers.
He notes that laws have changed and any investor is free to develop a power station and sell electricity to customers.
“We are not a monopoly and above all laws have changed and the market is open and liberalized by the government meaning anyone can come in to generate power and sale,” he said.
Mr Siame said this when he made a presentation during a stakeholders and customer engagement meeting held at Floriana Lodge in Solwezi today.
He said ZESCO has embarked on a number of projects to set up solar plants across the country and upgrade its existing power generation facilities to meet the demand for electricity in the country.
“The bottom line is that the future is bright,” Mr Siame said.
Meanwhile Mr Siame said ZESCO is implementing a 40 megawatts solar plant in Luapula province while in Western Province the power utility firm is doing 50 megawatts and in Southern Province the company is implementing another 50 megawatts project.
He also said ZESCO has signed an agreement with Masdar Company in the United Emirates in Dubai to develop a 500 megawatts solar plant which will be split into 50 megawatts solar plants across the country.
He said ZESCO also plans to build a 150 megawatts wind plant in Nakonde and Geothermal plants in Chongwe and Mpika where there are hot springs.
“We are trying to tap into those facilities so that we can use that natural heated water to generate electricity and so far two sites have been identified and feasibility studies are being carried out for a possible generation plant,” Mr Siame said.
He said ZESCO has also embarked on upgrading some power generation plants.
“Here in Northwestern Province we will do West Lunga which will be 44 megawatts and on the Luapula River we are going to do 708 megawatts and there will be a thermal plant of about 700 megawatts.
“We are also doing Kalungwishi also on Luapula River where there are two sites which will give us about 234 megawatts and Lusiwasi in Central Province which will be giving us 86 megawatts and these are projects that are at very advanced stage,” Mr Siame said.
He said ZESCO is targeting biomass energy plants to use the waste being generated across the country to produce electricity.
“All these projects are being studied for possible implementation,” Mr Siame said.
And Solwezi District Commissioner Tiki Mulofwa who was represented by District Administrative Officer Anthony Fulwe said Zesco has been a major driver of economic development since the country attained independence.
Mr Mulofwa said the move by ZESCO to engage with stakeholders is an important undertaking to bring satisfaction to its customers.
He implored Solwezi residents to become private security officers and arrest those found vandalizing ZESCO installations to ensure uninterrupted power supply to drive economic activities.
Mr Mulofwa said the Government has created a conducive investment climate to enable private entities to invest in power generation plants.