Western Power Limited, a British company involved with power distribution and solving power cut incidents, has recently announced that construction works of the USD 200 million Sioma hydropower station in Zambia’s western province would start soon as it is waiting for the conclusion of the implementation agreement with the government.
The Sioma hydropower station, is meant to add 60 MW of power to Zambia’s installed capacity and is being funded by the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA), Infraco Africa and the Zambian Government.
Western Power expects to conclude soon the implementation agreement and construction works would start within one or one and a half year to make the western province non-dependent from energy delivered from the southern province and neighboring countries, which are not reliable and has a high rate of power losses, explained Western Power Chairperson Sipho Phiri.
According to the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) this project is part of a broader program undertook by the Zambian government to tap its natural water reserves able to produce a potential power capacity up to 6,000 MW, and to make Zambia a net power exporter in the region after meeting local needs.
Hydropower accounts for 92% of Zambia’s total installed capacity totaling 1,948 MW across and is responsible for 99% of the total electricity generated in the country.
The USD 4 billion Batoka Gorge hydropower project on the Zambezi river in the border region with Zimbabwe, is one of two major projects being outlined with the support of the Zambian government and the private sector to add 1,600 MW of generation capacity to the country.
The Kafue Gorge lower hydrostation constitutes the other project which aims at raising the current installed capacity from 450 MW to 750 MW by 2018 at a total investment of USD 1.97 billion.