……… President Lungu directs ZESCO to finish the solar project by mid-next year
State House…. Friday November 8, 2019
President Edgar Lungu says government will next week pay US$14 million for the importation of electricity from ESKOM in South Africa with the remaining to be paid soon.
He disclosed that this is from the initial requirement to pay US$44 million of which US$10 million has already been paid.
He said this at State House during his engagement with the media adding that the decision to import power is a stop-gap measure as the country waits for the coming on board of 750 mega watts of power from Kafue gorge lower in early march next year with the project already at 80 percent completion.
The Head of State said the lasting solution to the power deficit is more investment in renewable energy such as solar and urged Zesco to finish the 120 mega watt solar PV under the Getfit Programme Solar Project by mid-next year.
The project has six 20 mega watt projects and expected to reach commercial operation date in the third quarter of 2020.
He regretted that small-scale businessmen, whose businesses depend on electricity, have had to endure long hours without electricity to power their businesses.
“I feel for that barber who works hard to feed his family in mandevu, Lusaka,i feel for that young beautician in masala, Ndola, whose salon business is critically affected because of loadshedding; what about that welder in chiwempala, chingola who has had to work in the night because that is when power returns” President Lungu said.
President Lungu expected the hydro-power stations to revert to normal production next year as predicted by experts that the 2019/2020 rainy season will give normal to above normal rain.