This is a best prospect industry sector for this country. Includes a market overview and trade data.
Last Published: 4/4/2019

Overview

There are five main electricity generation companies in Zambia, namely the state-owned Zambia Electricity Supply Corporation (ZESCO) Limited; Copperbelt Energy Corporation (CEC); North-Western Energy Corporation (NWEC); Lusemfwa Hydro Power Company (LHPC); and Maamba Collieries Limited.  Currently parastatal ZESCO is the largest electricity company in the country, running and operating power stations, transmission lines, and distribution networks and is the only utility-scale offtaker of independent power producers (IPPs).  Zambia’s installed capacity stands at 2,347 Megawatts (MW).  The main hydro power stations include Kariba North Bank Power Station, Kafue Gorge Power Station, Victoria Falls Power Station and Itezhi Tezhi Hydro Power Station.  There is one coal-fired plant, Maamba Collieries, which was commissioned in late 2016 and is currently generating 240 MW of power for ZESCO.  Demand for power in the economy has grown rapidly in recent years and continues to grow.  The Zambia Development Agency (ZDA) states that the demand for electricity in Zambia is growing at an average three percent each year.  Zambia is a member of the Southern Africa Power Pool.
Zambia is implementing the first Scaling Solar project by the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) in close coordination with the Ministry of Energy.  The first Scaling Solar project was auctioned in May 2016 for two solar photovoltaic (PV) plants of 50 MW each and tenders were awarded to two separate international energy developers.

Sub-Sector Best Prospects

Solar resources: Zambia has abundant renewable energy resources available throughout the country.  The country enjoys long and intense hours of annual sunlight to support solar energy generation, averaging about 2,000-3,000 hours of sunshine per year.  The solar power or PV market remains dominated by government, NGO, and donor funded projects.  U.S. products are well received among competition from China, South Africa, and India.  The government intends to generate 600 MW through solar by 2020 and is considering policies that will incentivize a willing-buyer/willing-seller model for power purchase agreements (PPA).  However, the financially distressed electricity parastatal ZESCO is currently the main offtaker of large PPAs, which will likely limit large-scale development in the short term.  In the meantime, market opportunities remain in home solar systems and mini-grid electricity systems.

Power Africa

Overview: Power Africa is a market-driven, U.S. Government-led public-private partnership to double access to electricity in sub-Saharan Africa. It also serves as a one-stop shop for private sector entities seeking tools and resources to facilitate doing business in Africa’s power sector.  In 2016, the Electrify Africa Act unanimously passed both houses of Congress and was  signed into law, institutionalizing Power Africa and establishing two goals; to add 20,000 MW of generation capacity and expand electricity access to 50 million people in sub-Saharan Africa by 2020.  In bringing together more than 140 of the world’s top companies, development institutions, and financial entities, Power Africa employs a transaction-centered approach to directly address key constraints to project development and investment in the power sector. These interventions aim to de-risk investments and accelerate financial close -- from facilitating project bankability with financing and risk mitigation, to providing technical and transaction support, to engaging with host-government counterparts. Learn more about the full Power Africa toolbox  or other opportunities offered by Power Africa.

Power Africa Support in Zambia: Power Africa has supported and continues to support a number of energy initiatives in Zambia, including technical assistance to government institutions to develop a renewable energy feed-in tariff (REFIT) and a standardized power purchase agreement (PPA).  Power Africa also supported the introduction of IFC’s Scaling Solar program in Zambia, which has been key in financing critical costs necessary for a transparent, competitive bidding process to attract project developers, build institutional capacity, and catalyze market growth.  To accelerate off-grid energy growth, the Power Africa Off-Grid Energy Challenge has provided small grants for innovative, entrepreneurial developers seeking to expand rural access.  Power Africa is assisting the government of Zambia on energy sector policy reform with embedded technical advisors at several government agencies.  Learn more about how Power Africa is partnering to address key challenges in Zambia’s electricity sector and supporting private sector investment in energy at: https://www.usaid.gov/powerafrica/zambia.

Opportunities:

There are opportunities in electricity generation and transmission, refineries, storage facilities, pipelines for petroleum and gas, renewable energy facilities, and transport facilities for coal distribution and exports.  Opportunities for solar energy include residential, schools, hospitals, health centers, commercial, utility, off-grid, and agricultural sector.
Key government and regulatory agencies for Solar projects:

Industrial Development Corporation (Zambia) Limited 

61 Independence Avenue, Prospect Hill
P.O. Box 37232, Lusaka, Zambia
Tel: +260 211 843567 or +260 211 843568 or +260 967 773007
Email: info@idc.co.zm

Website: http://www.idc.co.zm/
 
Ministry of Energy
Mulungushi House
P.O. Box 50069
Lusaka, Zambia
Tel: +260-211 252666 / +260-211 252698
 
Energy Regulation Board
Plot No 9330,
Off Alick Nkhata Road
P.O Box 37631,
Lusaka, Zambia
Tel: 260-211 258844/49
Fax: 260-211 258852
 

Web Resources

http://www.idc.co.zm/
http://www.zesco.co.zm/
http://www.erb.org.zm/viewpage.php?page=news
 

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Zambia Energy Trade Development and Promotion