MDH South Africa has proposed its plan to build a dam and 235MW hydroelectric power station in Zambia to help address power shortages in the country.

The South African firm has submitted a proposal to the Zambian authorities for the $1.26bn project on the Luangwa River in the Eastern Province.

Zambia, which produces about 2,600MW power mostly from hydropower, is facing power deflect of about 600MW due to poor rainfall.

The Ndevu Gorge Hydro Power project involves developing a dam on the Luangwa River to create a lake that is 165kmm long and 17km wide. It would also drive a 235MW power station.

Zambia's embassy in Pretoria was reported by Reuters as saying: "The company has since made an application for authority to proceed with feasibility through Ministry of Energy.”

The firm is due to commence feasibility studies for the Ndevu Gorge Power Project upon securing approval from the authority.

Although the project’s initial construction estimate is $1.26bn, it could change during the feasibility phase once the design aspects are finalized, the embassy said.

MDH South Africa, which is the anchor developer of the the Ndevu Gorge Power Project, is in discussions to close funding for the project.

Energy Regulation Board (ERB) director for Economic Regulation Alfred Mwila was reported by as saying that the institution supports the Independent Power Producers (IPPs) to help alleviate the country’s energy deficit.

The project, which is planned as a “multi-use” asset, will also be designed for use for primary irrigation-based agriculture around the lake.

Image: Zambia produces about 2,600MW of power mostly from hydropower. Photo: courtesy of Paul Maritz /Wikipedia.