Lusenfwa River Gorge and Original Power Plant

Muchinga Power

Zambia

Zambia is likely to experience power shortages over the coming years,

given the pace of development of its mining sectors and overall increase in economic activity.

The Muchinga Power Project was designed to develop an independently owned hydro project on the Lunsemfwa and Mkushi rivers in central Zambia to serve the growing domestic and industrial demand for power in Zambia. The project is expected to produce 200 MW of sustainable hydro power using the existing Mita Hills reservoir in central Zambia. The project will connect to the national grid and will potentially be able to export energy to neighbouring countries in the Southern Africa Power Pool.

Muchinga Power Company (MPC) was established in 2010 as a JV between of Lunsemfwa Hydropower Company Limited (LHPC) and InfraCo Africa.

The project was divested in September 2012 to LHPC (a company majority owned by the SN Power subsidiary Agua Imara). Development continues under management of Lunsemfwa Hydro/Agua Imara and construction is expected to start in 2015. This early project divestment marked the culmination of a successful cycle of early development by eleQtra, with the assistance of InfraCo Africa.

 

Primary Economic Benefits

  •  The project is designed to address the increasing shortages of energy in Zambia. As a landlocked country with low energy consumption levels, this project will be able to provide poor households and industrial customers with reasonably priced, reliable supply of renewable energy.
  • The project will boost the generation capacity of the country by approximately 15%.
  • The project will address a growing demand for electricity in the country and in particular the harmful impacts of power cuts and brown outs currently caused by lack of available energy in the country.
  • In the longer term the project could act as a catalyst for similar developments in Zambia and across Africa.

Primary Social Benefits

  • Creation of 225 full time jobs.
  • In addition it will generate “green power” in line with the PIDG’s policy of supporting increasing initiatives aimed at combating climate change.
  • The project will deliver reasonably priced energy to approximately 10% of the total population of the country.

Project Structure

  • Pioneering initiative as it is the first privately owned hydro with significant local ownership; InfraCo Africa plans to use this as a model for future replication.

Project Relevance

  • This will be the first hydro IPP in Zambia  to supply the South African power pool. eleQtra identified an early opportunity to assist a small group of indigenous entrepreneurs in Zambia to develop a project that had been on the drawing board for over a decade.
  • eleQtra provided a vision and conceptual approach that had been lacking within the project sponsor group. InfraCo Africa helped transform the project by developing a new technical approach that effectively doubled the output of the project using the same flows of water.
  • This change enabled the local sponsors to attract new international investors into the project and accelerated the pace of project development.

 

Muchinga Power

Zambia

Developer In Charge

Richard Parry