PLANS are under way to establish a motor vehicle battery assembly plant on the Copperbelt, President Hakainde Hichilema has said.
The president said this is under an agreement between Zambia and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in which the two countries would add value to Copper, a mineral for which they are top producers on the African continent.
“The debate not is whether the plant should be located in Ndola or Chingola. But this is what it means when we say adding value to our local minerals and creating more jobs for our people,” president Hichilema said.
He said this during the official opening of the Second session of the 13th National Assembly at Parliament Buildings in Lusaka yesterday.
Mr Hichilema explained that the Government had in the last one year unlocked vital economic projects for the country such as the US$2.3 billion, 750 Megawatts Kafue Gorge hydro power stations in Chikankata district.
He said at the time of assuming office, a major part of the plant had not been commissioned due to debt owed to the contractor.
“In our first 10 months in office, we managed to unlock that project and have all the turbines running. This helped the country end it’s electricity deficit and achieve surplus for export to neighboring countries,” President Hichilema said.
He said the Government had also remodeled the operational model of Indeni Petroleum Refinery in Ndola for the firm to start producing blended petroleum products.
Mr Hichilema said the TAZAMA pipeline would also be transformed to transport finished petroleum products.
The president said would cause the country to enjoy a sustainable supply of diverse energy consumable for the public.