Zambia seek Chinese expertise in nuclear energy
By Jeff Kapembwa
LUSAKA – Zambia has now turned to China in seeking to increase its power generation capacity including nuclear energy as demand by local and foreign end users increases against a low hydro output.
Zambia’s hydro generation capacity has risen to about 2,500 megawatts against an endowed capacity of 6,000 megawatts, resulting in the Southern African and continent’s second largest producer of the red metal seeking alternative sources, including solar, biomass and nuclear power.
Zambia’s Vice President Inonge Wina has sought China’s intervention to come assist the Southern African country bolster the energy sector including nuclear energy.
During her recent visit to China’s Dongfang Electric Corporation (DEC) in Chengdu, Wina reaffirmed Zambia’s commitment to explore nuclear energy as an alternative source to meet the rising demand for power in among other sectors, mining and manufacturing.
She said the country was grappling to meet hydro power needs, and seeks to diversify its energy sources hence the call for China and other countries to come providing alternative sources to join hands and allow the country develop the economy as demand for domestic and industrial power increases.
Dongfang Electric Limited was established in 1958 and is one of the world’s leading power generation equipment manufacturing company with markets across the globe.
The multi-billion dollar firm that specialises in hydro, thermal, nuclear power projects among others, also supplied the two 150 megawatts power generation equipment at Maamba thermal power station.
Meanwhile, President of Dongfang Electric Corporation Zou Lie has pledged his company’s commitment to consider Zambia’s request for developing nuclear energy.
Zambia recently signed a deal with Russia to oversee the pilot phase of the construction of a Centre for Nuclear Science and Technology in the country, among other projects.
As per the agreement signed during a bilateral meeting held in Russia in June, Russia, renowned for its nuclear capacity, will undertake feasibility studies of the nuclear power plant to be built in Zambia.
Zambia’s power generating capacity has improved to 1,901MW versus a 1,900MW at peak hour.