US $500m to be invested in Ngonye Falls hydropower project in Zambia

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Zambia is set to receive US $500m from WESTERN Power company for the construction of the Ngonye Falls hydropower generation project in Western Province.

According to Western Power company Managing Director Tom Younger who announced the reports, the overall objective of the project is to generate clean, dependable and affordable power to deliver to the Zambian national electricity grid.

“A gross electricity generation will be approximately 830 gigawatt hours per annum which, using an average household consumption of 4,600 kilowatt hours per annum is sufficient to supply approximately 180,000 households,” said MD Younger.

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Ngonye Falls hydropower project

The power station is a run-of-river hydroelectric plant that will have an installed capacity of around 60MW and produce at least 300GWh per year of zero-carbon, renewable base load electricity. The power produced by the plant will be enough to provide basic electricity needs including lighting, refrigeration and television for up to 350,000 Zambian households.

The project will involve the construction of a barrage across part of the river above the falls which will direct water into a 3km canal to a power house with two turbines and generators. Electricity will be carried by high voltage transmission lines to the ZESCO national grid system at Sesheke where it will be available to serve demand in Western Province and across Zambia.

Because the project is run-of-river, it will therefore not involve the construction of a large reservoir. It is considered to be extremely environmentally friendly and has a beneficial social impact on the people of Sioma and Western Province.