The African Power Coal Mine has partnered with Mulungwa Power Generation Company Limited to construct a 300 megawatts thermal power plant in Sinazongwe district in Southern Province.
This came to light during a stakeholders meeting held at Mulungwa Coal Mine whose main purpose was to sensitize stakeholders including the local community about the project and obtain their views before starting the project.
Mulungwa Power Generation Company Consultant Mubanga Mwansa explained that the thermal power plant project has been necessitated by the power deficit that the country experienced previously.
“Mulungwa power generation limited wish to contribute by increasing power generated in the country through the 300 megawatts thermal power plant that will be constructed within the Africa Power Coal mine site,” he said.
He explained that the power that will be generated will be transmitted into the national grid in accordance with the regulations on generation of more than 300 megawatts.
Mr. Mwansa said the company had already been permitted by the Ministry of Energy as required under the Electricity Act Number 11 of 2019.
He said that an environmental impact assessment (EIA) would be conducted after which construction works will commence.
Mr. Mwansa stated that the thermal power generation by Mulungwa Power Generation limited will bring a number of socio-economic benefits not only to the local people but the country at large.
He disclosed that Africa Power Coal Mine intends to extend its waste rock dump site for the purpose of dumping overburden materials from the mining activities.
“The mine is in the process of expanding its mining operations and there is a need to equally expand the waste rock dump site where overburden materials from the mining activities will be dumped in order to continue protecting the environment and avoid pollution,” he said.
He said this project also calls for carrying out an EIA hence the reason for conducting the stakeholders meeting for people to submit their views on the intended project.
Mr. Mwansa said that Zambia Environmental Management Agency (ZEMA) will be at hand to handle the EIA for both the establishment of the thermal power plant and the expansion of the waste rock dump site at the mine.
And Senior Chief Mweemba representative Ben Siamunjasi welcomed the two projects on behalf of his subjects but called on the company to continue engaging them at all stages in order for implementation to be successful.
He said this was a sign to show that the company was practicing sustainable mining methods that took care of the environment and people around the mine.
Headman Mudodoli also commended the mine company for consulting them over the intended undertakings but challenged the company to ensure that projects under the Social Corporate Responsibility (CSR) are also completed.
The traditional leader expressed worry that some of the projects under CSR had not been attended to while others were still at implementation stage.
“We are worried that the mine company wants to embark on other major investments and projects before completing those under CSR such as the clinic, school and boreholes because they risk being abandoned for some time”, he said.
He said projects under the CSR were also critical because they were meant to benefit the local communities.