A consortium of Zesco, TATA Africa and the Itezhi Tezhi Power Company (ITPC) has secured a $142m loan to develop the 120MW Itezhi Tezhi power project in Zambia.

The financiers are the African Development Bank (AfDB), the Dutch Development Bank FMO, the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) and Propaco of France.

Zesco acting managing director said the Itezhi Tezhi power project development has been on the drawing board since the 1970s and the signing ceremony marks a major milestone that would significantly contribute to Zambia’s power situation.

He also said that, once completed, the project would help to address the country’s power deficit.

AfDB resident representative to Zambia Freddie Kwesiga said the bank’s contribution to the financing package amounted to $35.5m.

Apart from the latest deal, AfDB has provided a $56m loan to the Government of Zambia in December 2012 for the construction of a 200km transmission line to send power from the generation site to the capital, Lusaka.

Other lenders for the transmission line include the Agence Française de Développement and the European Investment Bank.