Sunbird Bioenergy Investments (Sunbird), a UK based company involved with production of biofuel in Sub Saharan Africa (SSA), has recently announced its plans to raise investments in Zambia’s energy sector to boost power generation.
The announcement comes few weeks after the UK-Zambia Trade & Investment Forum concluded in London, where more than 400 businesses from England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland attended the event to find out investment opportunities in the African country.
The trade and investment conference provided a unique forum for Sunbird to demonstrate that its agricultural projects can create good returns for investors and contribute to Zambia’s economic development by supporting job creation and electricity reliability, explained Sunbird CEO Richard Bennet to the Zambian Embassy in London.
Despite the current growth slowdown due to falling copper prices and electricity shortages that have constrained the mining sector’s output, Zambia is expected to grow above the SSA average of 3.8% in 2015 according to the Bank of Zambia (BoZ).
This growth will be support by investments in sectors as power generation, wholesale and retail trading, construction, and communications which together represents over 40% of Zambia’s GDP and whose return on equity (ROE) are 8.9% and 16.1% according to the Zambia Development Agency (ZDA).
FDI inflows to Zambia have grown from USD 1,108 million in 2011 to USD 2,231 million in 2014 with the UK representing an average of 19.7% of the total and being the third largest investor to the country after Canada and China, according to Investment Map.
Sunbird accounts for 34.13% of the total British FDI to Zambia in 2014 with an investment of USD 150 million for the acquisition of a 25,000 hectares land in Luena Farm Block near Kawambwa, Northern Zambia, where it will establish a bioethanol plant to produce 120 million liters of fuel grade annually made from cassava.