By ESTHER NG’ANDU -
AFRI Energy Ventures Limited, an Asian company will next year set up 10 biomass power plants at the cost of US$110 million in Luapula Province.
Provincial Minister Nickson Chilangwa said the 10 plants set for construction will create about 15,000 jobs.
Mr Chilangwa said in an interview that Afri Energy Ventures would proceed to set up 10 biomass power plants following a successful feasibility study.
“I am happy to mention that plans by an Asian company to set up 10 biomass power plants across the province is now a reality, I met with the company official Surendranath Reddy who informed me that the project will proceed were grass farm waste would be converted to cash power,” he said.
Mr Chilangwa said the company had earmarked piloting of the first three plants in Mansa, Kawambwa and Mwense districts.
He added that construction of the three plants in the three districts would start in January next year and would take 12 months to be completed.
The Minister said it was gratifying to note that the project had come with massive employment opportunities for the people having been informed that each plant to be constructed would create 1,500 jobs.
“I am reliably informed that each plant will create 1,500 jobs which is a milestone for the district at least am assured my district is catered for in terms of job opportunities, we are seeing many people doing nothing and we have been told the plant will require grass and farm waste which would be converted to generate 12 megawatts of power, “he said.
He added that the Zambia Environmental Management Agency (ZEMA) has already been engaged to conduct an environmental impact assessment on the project.
The company has further made progress in engaging Zesco on the signing of the implementation agreement.
Mr Chilangwa who is also Kawambwa Member of Parliament said the energy sector agenda the Patriotic Front (PF) Government was talking about, was becoming a reality.