Government will spend U$S 163 million for the connection of North Western Province to the national electricity grid, Energy Minister Dora Siliya told Parliament yesterday.
Ms Siliya said the multi-million dollar project would be executed by ELTEL Network of Sweden within 24 months.
She said the amount would cover engineering design, manufacture, supply, delivery, installation and commissioning of all the required equipment for the overheard transmission lines and substations in Chavuma, Zambezi, Mumbeji, Kabompo, Mufumbwe, Lukulu and Mwinilunga district. “The contractor that has been engaged by ZESCO for construction and commissioning of the overheard transmission lines and substations has since mobilized to the site and works are in progress,” she said.
Ms Siliya said the project scope would include the construction of 479km of 132kv transmission line from Lumwana mine 132/33kV substation through Mufumbwe, Kabompo, Mumbezhi, Zambezi to Chavuma in North-Western province.
She said the project would include the construction of a 190km long 132kV line from Lumwana Mine 330/132kV substation to Mwinilung and construction of 90km of 132kV transmission line from Numbezhi to Lukulu in Western province.
Ms Siliya said the project would also seek to establish a 330/132kV 70/90MVA source substation at the existing Lumwana mine 330/33kV substation and a 20/20/10 MVA 132/33/11kV substation at Mwinilunga, Mufumbwe and Zambezi.
“Mr. Speaker, it is gratifying to note that through this project, an extensive distribution network shall be constructed to electrify public facilities such as schools, rural health centers, government and other institution facilities, chief’s palaces among many others,” Ms Siliya said.
She said once the project was completed, it would improve availability as well as ensure adequate and reliable power from the grid.
Ms Siliya said the project had a total delivery period of 24 months from the project effective month of April 2014, adding that the completion and commissioning of the facilities was expected in the various districts to be done in phases. Ms Siliya said the Mwinilunga and Mufumbwe were expected to be switched on by August 2015, Kabompo, Mumbezhi and Zambezi was expected to be commissioned in the fourth quarter of 2015 while the last two districts names, Chavuma and Lukulu were supposed to be commissioned in the first quarter of 2016.
“This led to the contractor suspending works from 2nd February 2015 to July 2015,” she said.
Ms Siliya further told the House that Tax exemption for Import Duty and Import VAT was only granted through gazetting of Statutory Instrument number 18 of 2015 on 27th March 2015 while Local VAT exemption was only granted on 29th June 2015.