MAAMBA coal mine limited plans to commission the 150 megawatt thermal power plant before the end of this year at a cost of US$750 million, the company said.
According to Maamba Collieries, 65-percent majority owned by Singapore’s Nava Bharat Pvt, the collier is expected to spend US$750 million over the planned commissioning of the first phase of the thermal power plant in the last quarter of 2014, said company spokesperson, Janardhan Lavu.
The thermal power project, he adds, is on course and the planned commissioning of the first unit should go as per plan in the last quarter of the year as 60 per cent of the work on the power plant had so far been completed.
The total output of the planned thermal power plant will be 300 megawatts when completed and should supplement the state utility or Zambia Electricity Supply Corporation in meeting to energy demands in the country and for exports.
Zambia’s economic progression has been hampered by various outages in industry and indeed in the mines which in some instance it has affected production of the red metal.
“MCL will be ready to supply electricity to Zesco at Muzuma sub-station for onward distribution to the rest of the country starting from the first quarter of next year, provided that Zesco completes the grid up-gradation works as per the agreed schedule,” said Lavu in a statement.
The development of the power project was an opportunity for the company to contribute to the growing economy of Zambia and help reduce the country’s power deficit and load-shedding which has grossly affected economic growth because of power outages.
The collier is happy that the project, has to date not recorded any fatalities, a situation it described as a milestone in application of safety at work and ensuring that people remain safe at their workplaces.
Accordingly, the company was buoyed by the continued growth of MCL’s positive business outlook since the company resumed operations under new Public Private Partnership (PPP) initiative in April 2010.
The policy environment in Zambia has remained stable and conducive for investment and MCL has continued to receive tremendous support from all stakeholders, Lavu added.
Maamba collieries were bought by Nava Bharat in 2010 for a net value of US$26 million and have 35 percent shares held by Zambia Consolidated Copper Mines Investment Holdings (ZCCM IH).
It has in excess of 103 million tons of coal reserves, which if exploited could meet he increased demand for the heating substance in both the Southern African Development Community or SADC or other parts of the sub Saharan Africa.