The Zambian subsidiary of the Chinese giant Sinohydro has been chosen to carry out the civil engineering work for the construction of the Kalulushi solar concentration plant (SCP) in the copper belt province. Chinese state-owned Sinohydro is the world’s 14th largest hydropower engineering and construction company. The project is being developed by the Independent Power Producer (IPP) Margam Valley Solar Energy Corporation.
The future concentrating power plant will be built on a 450 hectare site located 1km from the Kitwe Chingola Road in the Kalulushi District, Copperbelt Province, Zambia. The complex will be made up of mirrors that will concentrate the sun’s rays to heat a thermal fluid that will turn turbines to produce 200 MW of electricity.
According to Akapelwa Akapelwa, the director of Margam Valley Solar Energy Corporation, the consortium of which his company is a member plans to generate a total of 400MW of electricity from thermo-dynamic solar energy in the Copperbelt province, adding to the share of renewable energy in Zambia’s electricity mix.
Zambia’s electricity mix
This Southern Africa country depends on hydropower plants to produce 85% of its electricity (2,380MW), with a total installed capacity of 2,800 MW. However, Zambia, like other countries in Southern Africa, has been affected for several years by drought which reduces river flow, impacting the production of large hydropower plants.
In that case, the Zambian government has embarked on a policy aimed at diversifying its electricity mix through the implementation of other clean energy projects such as solar and wind power. This ambition is supported by independent power producers (IPPs), whose projects have been awarded numerous concessions in the country.