By Jeff Kapembwa
LUSAKA – Overwhelmed by the need to bolster energy in the Southern African and continent’s second leading copper producer, Zambia has inked 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.
Zambia’s energy output averages 1,900 megawatts with generation capacity estimated at 6,000 megawatts. The deficit has led the country to fall short of meeting the increased demand for domestic and export markets.
During a recent bilateral meeting held in Russia during the AtomExpo, the two countries signed four agreements.
Russia, renowned for its nuclear capacity, will undertake feasibility studies of the nuclear power plant to be built in Zambia.
Zambia’s Higher Education Ministry Permanent Secretary Owen Mugemezulu signed a contract for the construction of the nuclear centre in Zambia with Rusatom Overseas president Evgeny Pakermanov.
As per the agreement, works are expected to commence by next year. Mugemezulu said the deal would enable the country increase its energy prospects with the inclusion of nuclear power in addition to solar, biomass, geothermal, among other alternative sources.
One of the agreements entails that Russia’s Joint Stock Company ‘Rusatom Service’ would undertake assessment and development of nuclear infrastructure in Zambia and another one for the preliminary site survey for the Center of Nuclear Science and Technology in Zambia.
The agreement was signed with Russia’s Joint Stock Company ASE Engineering Company president Valeriy Limarenko. According to the agreement, ASE Engineering Company will soon start field works on the prospective site to acquire data for design and construction of the facility.
At the same occasion, Ministry of Energy Permanent Secretary Emelda Chola also signed an agreement with Pakermanov for the execution of pre-feasibility and feasibility studies of the nuclear power plant to be…