Zambia: Construction of the 750MW Lower Kafue Gorge Hydropower Plant Suspended

  • Construction of the 750MW Lower Kafue Gorge hydropower plant in Zambia has been suspended.
  • The Chinese state owned Syno Hydro Corporation has suspended the project after the Zambian government failed to pay the company for the construction work.
  • Management simply notified workers that due to challenges beyond its control, it had suspended operations and all workers must go home.

The project, situated  7km downstream from the existing 900MW Kafue Gorge Upper hydroelectric power station, includes a 140m-high concrete-face rock fill dam (CFRD) with a crest width between 8m and 10m and a length of approximately 378m. A surface powerhouse with a width of 44.5m, height of 58m and length of 127m, and housing five 150MW generator units.

Since 2015, this site has employed more than 3,000 people. Upon completion, the US 2 billion power station will also have an environmental release outlet channel, a spillway on the left bank with an overall width of 64m and maximum discharge capacity of 6,210m³/s.

Related news: Zambia’s Debt Cast Shadow over 100MW Solar PV Projects

Earlier in March this year, Zambian Energy Minister, Matthew Nkhuwa, shared his satisfaction with the progress on the construction of the Kafue Gorge Lower hydro power plant after it had reached 60% completion. Mr. Nkhuwa added at the time that once finished, the project will greatly increase power generation and make Zambia a net exporter of electricity.

Author: Bryan Groenendaal

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