The government of Zambia has agreed a $650M deal with Lunzua Power Authority Ltd for the development of two new hydropower schemes with a combined capacity of 247MW, the Wall Street Journal has reported.

Under the terms of the agreement, Lunzua Power will build the two plants and associated transmission lines, which will supply power to copper, cobalt and manganese mines in the country.

Construction work is expected to start in 2013, with completion scheduled for 2017, the newspaper reported.