Kariba North Bank Hydropower Generation Projects

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A $600,000 grant from NEPAD-IPPF in 2008 helped kick-start the development of an ambitious $430 million energy project on the Zambezi
River, some 165 km from Lusaka, Zambia. KfW, the Development Bank of South Africa (DBSA) and the Zambian National Electrical Supply Corp. (ZESCO) also supported project preparation studies. The project was designed to provide more reliable and cost-effective electricity to consumers living in Southern African Power Pool (SAAP) member countries; Botswana, Angola, DRC, Lesotho, Mozambique, Malawi, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

Project financing

The Kariba North Bank Hydropower Generation Project, financed by China Exim Bank (85%), DBSA and ZESCO (15%), was commissioned in 2014. ZESCO also acted as the Executing Agency.

Impact

Since 2014, Kariba North has increased the power generated by the existing Kariba Bank Power Station by 360 MW, through two new 180MW generating units. It is also helping create a common market for electricity in the SADC region, as the export of reliable and cost-effective power to neighbouring countries has grown, spurring further economic growth and promoting regional integration. For local communities in north-western Zambia, Kariba North has increased capacity at peak times, thereby minimizing power outages; this, in turn, is bringing improved tourism to the Lake Shore area. And for the mining sector, which contributes 10-12% of Zambia’s GDP, it has increased power capacity and decreased production costs, bringing more secure jobs and benefits to miners and improving living conditions of their families.