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POWERCHINA's Maamba project powers Zambia

Updated: 2016-12-02

POWERCHINA has announced that its engineering procurement construction (EPC) project, the 270-megawatt Maamba thermal power plant, has successfully pumped power into Zambia’s national grid, improving the status of power shortages and rationing.

The coal-powered plant, built by POWERCHINA, a subsidiary of Power Construction Corporation of China, marks the company’s first EPC project in Africa.

Located in Sinazongwe, in the southern part of the country, Maamba was invested in and constructed by Singapore-based NBS, a subsidiary of India’s NBV, of which two 150-megawatt circulating fluidized bed coal-fired units for phase one were adopted.

As part of the EPC contract, POWERCHINA is responsible for the overall work of the project, including design, purchasing, construction, installation, debugging and operation.

All workers at POWERCHINA united and spared no efforts to complete the plant’s construction as scheduled in spite of various setbacks, such as the difficult natural environment, slow and inefficient transportation and deficient goods and materials.

POWERCHINA's Maamba project powers Zambia
A view of Maamba Thermal Power Plant in Zambia

The Maamba thermal power plant is in its trial operation after the two 150-megawatt generators were installed, ready to generate power.

The first one has produced 64,346 megawatts for Zambia’s national grid since it commenced operation in July. The second has also been connected into the grid and pumped power.

Zambia heavily depends on hydro power generation, and has invested $738 million in diversifying its ways of power generation to tackle with the problem that the country will be beset by power shortages due to low rainfall.

Compared to other African countries, the electric fare is charged relatively low at less than 0.6 cents per kilowatt-hour in Zambia, while it can be as high as 10 to 20 cents in other countries.