Govt to prepare tender documents for new developer of Kalungwishi hydropower

ENERGY minister Mathew Nkhuwa has said his ministry is in the process of preparing tender documents for a new developer of a hydropower station on Kalungwishi River’s  Kundabwika and Kabwelume waterfalls .

There have been struggles for water permits for the purpose of generating hydropower on Kalungwishi River.

In July 2012, government, through the then Minister of Mines, Energy, and Water Development Christopher Yaluma, terminated the implementation agreement signed between the government of the Republic of Zambia (GRZ) and Lunzua Power Authority for the development of the Kalungwishi hydroelectric schemes because the project had delayed.

In December 2012, Luapula Hydropower Corporation applied for a water permit for the purpose of generating hydropower on the Kalungwishi River.

In February 2014, Luapula Hydropower Corporation held a meeting with the Ministry of Mines, Energy, and water Development chaired by Yaluma where they felt the ministry wanted to favour Lunzua over their company.

In June 2017, Luapula Hydropower Corporation, through its lawyers Magubbwi and Associates, wrote to the Attorney General’s Chambers seeking an opinion and position on whether or not Lunzua Power Authority had any legal rights to the waterfalls and invariably the project.

But Luapula Province minister Nickson Chilangwa wrote to the Ministry of Water and Sanitation over the Lunzua Power project on Kalungwishi River.

“We worked very hard as a Province to impress upon Lunzua Power Authority to give timeline as part of the Luapula Expo and Investment Conference which we manage to achieve. Sitting alone in Lusaka and make decisions that have negative effect on our effort is unacceptable and will not be allowed by us in the Province especially that this negates our positive effort. I urge you to urgently convene an urgent meeting with all stakeholders to get full details and forge a quick solution,” stated Chilangwa.

However, Attorney general Likando Kalaluka on December 11, 2017 terminated the implementation agreement signed between government and Lunzua Power Authority.     

And Nkhuwa confirmed in parliament yesterday that his ministry had terminated Lunzua Power Authority’s implementation agreement.

“The contract was actually terminated on July 31, 2018 as there was no work being done. However, the ministry is in the process of preparing tender documents to make sure they give another developer to go ahead with the project. I also want to say that the President of the Republic of Zambia is equally concerned about this projects and he would like the ministries responsible to ensure that we work on this project which is expected to produce about 240 kilowatts,” Nkhuwa said.

“We have plans underway where we will put grids around the country so that even the power that will be coming to this power generating plant will be enjoyed even by people in Livingstone. So, definitely we are putting up those measures so that even if there is no power at this particular sub-station, we will be able to enjoy the power from the Kafue Gorge. The Kafue Gorge Lower is at 65 per cent completion now and it should be coming on board by the year 2020 and we are going to add 750 megawatts to the grid.”

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