The Zambia Electricity Supply Company (ZESCO) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Farab International of Iran for the construction of a US$100M Itezhi-tezhi hydro power plant on the Kafue river. The deal paves the way for the signing of an engineering, procurement and construction accord in January 2005.

The power plant is located in Zambia’s southern province and will have a capacity of 120MW. If everything goes as planned, the construction work will start in September 2005 to be finished in July 2008.

The Itezhi-tezhi power plant is part of the Zambian government’s plan to develop its rich hydro resources and increase its export to neighboring countries. Zambia is currently discussing the construction of a bigger power plant at the Lower Kafue Gorge with a Chinese firm, while the construction work to link up its power grid with that of Kenya and Tanzania will be officially operative next year.

Both projects are expected to cost over US$600M.