- Reuters reports that Japanese renewable energy company Univergy Solar is to invest more than $200 million in two solar power projects in Zambia.
- Univergy Solar Company will develop and implement a 135 MW project in northern Zambia and another 65 MW project in Zambia’s copperbelt, Zambia’s embassy in Tokyo said in a statement.
Zambia mainly relies on hydropower and has an electricity deficit of about 750 MW due to low water levels at generation plants after a severe drought hit power production. The Japanese firm will sign a Memorandum of Understanding with the Zambian government next Tuesday to start work on the projects in the first quarter of 2020, it said.
The two projects were expected to be completed between six and eight months, it said.
“The solar power project will be implemented in collaboration with a Zambian company and is expected to create hundreds of jobs and business opportunities for local firms engaged to maintain the solar farms and generation plants,” the statement said.
Zambia is in talks with South African power utility Eskom to import 300 megawatts MW, Energy Minister Mathew Nkhuwa said in September, adding that retail prices could double once imports begin. Read more
Zambia cut its economic growth forecast to around 2% for 2019, from an estimated 4%, due to the impact of the drought on its power supply and agricultural production. Wide spread load shedding persists in the country for up to 10 hours at a time.
Construction of the 750MW Lower Kafue Gorge Hydro Project was recently suspended due to payment default by the Zambian government. Read more
Last year, Japan questioned the accuracy of Zambia’s stated debt. Read more
Author: Bryan Groenendaal
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