Business is booming.

UAE invests $2bn in
solar with first
500MWp project in
Zambia

Hauwa Ali

Zambia Electricity
Supply Corporation
(ZESCO) has signed a
partnership with

Masdar (Abu Dhabi
Future Energy
Company).
The agreement was
recently signed
between UAE
independent power
producer (IPP) Masdar
andZESCO as
partnership to co-

develop solar projects
with an overall
investment of $2 billion
over the next few
years.
The President of the
Republic of Zambia,
HakaindeHichilema, has
returned to Lusaka
after the deal in Abu

Dhabi, the capital of
the United Arab
Emirates where he
participated in the Abu
Dhabi Sustainability
Week. On the sidelines
of the event, which
ended on Thursday 19
January 2023.

The agreement, signed
is for the investment of
$2 billion to generate at
least 2 000 MWp of
solar power. Initially,
the two companies
have agreed to start
with a 500 MWp solar
power plant, a real
boost for the energy
sector in Zambia, which

is only just beginning to
tap into its renewable
energy potential.
Zambia has opened up
the clean energy
market to foreign
investors, including
independent power
producers (IPPs). The
$2 billion investment in

solar photovoltaics will
allow Zambia to
diversify its energy mix.
The East African
country has an installed
capacity of 3,030 MW,
of which 2,393 MW is
generated by
hydroelectric plants.
The largest of these is
the 1,319 MW Kariba

plant, which Zambia
shares with Zimbabwe.
ZESCO obtains some of
the electricity it
distributes to people
and businesses from
thermal (gas and coal)
and solar power plants.
With the increasing
droughts in Eastern and

Southern Africa,
Zambia is faced with
lower dam levels and
therefore lower
electricity production in
the dry season. To cope
with this situation,
ZESCO wants to further
diversify its sources of
production by focusing
on solar energy. Zambia

already has an installed
solar capacity of 91
MW according to
Power Africa. Among
the solar power plants
commissioned in recent
years is the 54 MWp
Bangweulu plant. The
park was built by a
consortium of French
IPP Neoen and Zambian

investor Industrial
Development
Corporation (IDC).

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