Friday, July 22, 2011

Zambia: Abide by the law, envoy asks Chinese companies

Abide by the law, envoy asks Chinese companies
By Chiwoyu Sinyangwe
The Post Online (Zambia), Fri 22 July 2011

President Rupiah Banda and Chinese Ambassador to Zambia Zhou Yuxiao
during the ground-breaking ceremony at Kafue Gorge Lower Hydropower
project yesterday - Picture by Thomas Nsama
CHINESE companies have been asked to improve their relationship with the
Zambian government and local people to boost their grip on huge
infrastructural projects currently being enjoyed.

And China's Sinohydro has started building the Us $2 billion 750
megawatts Kafue Gorge Lower Hydropower station which is expected to
boost power security in Zambia and the region once completed in 2017.

Speaking at the ground-breaking ceremony for Kafue Gorge Lower on
Wednesday, Chinese Ambassador to Zambia Zhou Yu Xiao said there was need
for Chinese companies to fully exploit opportunities in Zambia that
arise from the enactment of the Public Private Partnership Act.

Ambassador Zhou said Sinohydro is currently building 360 megawatts
Kariba North Bank Extension project,

Kafue Gorge Power Station rehabilitation project, 120 megawatts
Itezhi-Tezhi and Kafue Gorge Lower, just about all key projects aimed to
boosting Zambia's power output.

Sinohydro, which controls about 50 per cent of the global hydropower
construction projects, has combined power works of about US $3 billion
in the country.

Kafue Gorge Lower is a joint venture between Sinohydro, Zesco and China
Africa Development Fund being the shareholders and the consortium led by
China Development bank providing financing support.

"While having full confidence in Sinohydro, I still wish to take this
opportunity to call upon the contractor to implement the project with
good quality, high speed, abide by relevant laws and regulation of the
land and employing as many workers as possible and paying them fairly as
well as protecting the local environment," said Ambassador Zhou."

And I am also confident the host government and local community will
continue to give the contractor and financiers the necessary support and
cooperation to facilitate their smooth operations."

And President Rupiah Banda said the successful implementation and
completion of the project would add 750 megawatts of power to the
national grid.

"This makes Kafue Gorge Lower one of the most important components of my
government's strategy to meet growing energy demand in the country and
the region as whole," said President Banda during the ground breaking
ceremony for the construction.

According to the scope and cost of the project, the recommended
configuration involved construction of Concrete Faced Rockfill Dam and a
five unit surface powerhouse with an installed capacity of 750 megawatts.

The estimated cost for the project is US $1.46 billion while the
financing costs brought the total project cost to US $1.94 billion.

The project is being financed 70 per cent by a loan from China Africa
Development Fund and China Development Bank.

The 30 per cent would be equity contribution shared by Sinohydro, China
Africa Development Fund and Zesco.

The plant would be operated for 30 years by a special purpose vehicle
called SINOZAM Power Corporation, after which it would be handed back to

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