Zambia recently celebrated the commissioning of the first unit of its 750 MW Kafue Gorge Lower hydropower station. Speaking at event, Dr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, President of the Republic of Zambia, said that the need to invest in infrastructure in the country and implement projects which would lead to more inclusive economic growth is essential.
“We … firmly believe that infrastructure development is critical to opening up development for the entire country. The economic gains that will accrue from these investments will no doubt benefit our country and outlive not just the current hurdles but will benefit all of us who are present here,” he said. It is for that reason that Zambia has invested, and continues to invest, in roads, clinics and hospitals, airports and power infrastructure, he added.
Lungu said Zambia has seen increased demand for electricity to power mining, agriculture, tourism, industries, education, healthcare services and homes. He acknowledged that investment in power generation from 1977 to 2011 did not grow proportionately with increased demand.
“Today’s commissioning of the first unit of the flagship Kafue Gorge Lower hydro-electric power project is testimony to our commitment and resilience in ensuring that the country’s electricity needs are secured and meet our needs today and the future,” he said.
Lungu said that in less than seven years his administration introduced an additional 1350 MW of power generation to the national grid. Arriving at a total installed capacity of 3250 MW.
The Kafue Gorge Lower station is located on the Kafue River in the Chikankata District, Southern Province. It includes a 140-meter-tall concrete-faced rockfill or roller-compacted-concrete dam and a power plant with five 150 MW turbine-generator units.