The European Investment Bank (EIB) has agreed to offer €50m in funding for the construction of a 120MW hydropower plant in Zambia.
Expected to complete by 2015, the project includes construction of the plant at the existing Itezhi-Tezhi Dam on the Kafue River and a long-distance 291km transmission line to Lusaka for grid connectivity.
Designed to serve the energy requirements of both the Zambian and Southern African nations and reduce Zambia's power deficit and reliance on coal-based energy, the project has a total capital outlay of $375m.
French Development Agency (AFD), African Development Bank, the Tata Group, Indian government, Development Bank of Southern Africa, Republic of Zambia are the other lenders to provide assistance for the project.
EIB vice president Pim van Ballekom, responsible for lending to sub-Saharan Africa remarked that the lending for the project is in addition to the banks earlier assistance for upgrading the Kafue Livingstone transmission line.
European Union Ambassador to Zambia Gilles Hervio added, "The Itezhi-Tezhi Hydropower Project will enhance the generation capacity of electricity on the national grid, as well as increasing the reliability and quality of supply of electricity in Zambia," Hervio said.