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Zambia Needs $2.1bn for Hydropower Generation

Feb 9, 2007 All Africa Global Media

Parliament heard yesterday that Zambia needs US$2.1 billion investment to expand hydropower generation and transmission to avoid a looming power shortage in the next five years.

Energy and Water Development Minister, Felix Mutati, said yesterday in a ministerial statement that Zambia must move quickly to develop hydropower projects to avert the looming power shortage.

Mr Mutati said the Government had made progress in project preparation for the development and expansion of four hydropower stations situated in different parts of the country and resources would come from the private sector.

Zesco and TATA Zambia would form a joint venture for the Itezhi-Tezhi project estimated at $150 million, Kariba North Bank extension would cost $250 million, Kafue Gorge Lower project was estimated at $1 million while the cost for the Kalungwishi project would be known after the bid valuation exercise is completed.

Though Zesco's ongoing rehabilitation of existing hydropower plants would be completed in 2008, Zambia would still face severe power shortages.

The looming power shortage is a major threat to Government's efforts to achieve sustained economic development in the agricultural, tourism and mining sectors.

Zesco's electricity pricing had not covered the cost of electricity supply, a situation that had led to the weak financial performance in quality service delivery as the power utility is owed K200 billion by consumers.

Answering a question from Gwembe MP, Brian Ntundu (UPND), who wanted to know if the Government had plans to increase the K2,000 risk allowances for police officers, Home Affairs Minister, Ronnie Shikapwasha, said the Government had abolished it and replaced it with a K50,000 exposure allowance.

He said the Government was committed to improving the conditions for all uniformed officers, and accommodation was catered for in the Fifth National Development Plan.

Environment, Tourism and Natural Resources Deputy Minister, Michael Kaingu, said the Government was working at raising the source of the Zambezi river to acceptable international standards though entry to the source of the river would be restricted. This was in response to a question by Mwinilunga East MP, Stephen Katuta (UPND), who wanted to know what the Government was doing about the Zambezi river.

Answering a question from Chifunabuli MP, Ernest Mwansa (PF), who wanted to know why Zambia State Insurance Corporation (ZSIC) should not be privatised, Finance and National Planning Minister, Ng'andu Magande, said the Government had no intentions of privatising the firm.

This was after Roan MP, Chishimba Kambwili (PF), asked why some Government institutions were taking business to Professional Insurance.

Speaker Amusaa Mwanamwambwa ruled that the minister of Finance and National Planning should issue a comprehensive statement on the K3 trillion that had been reported stolen from Government coffers after Lusaka Central MP, Guy Scott, raised a point of order asking why the minister had not spoken about the matter.

Acting leader of Government in the House, Vernon Mwaanga, said constitutionally, the Government was within the stipulated period of 90 days after the financial end of year of March 31 to present the national Budget. Mr Mwaanga was responding to a question from Kabwata MP Given Lubinda (PF), who asked why this year's Budget was being presented late.


Updated: 2003/07/28