People watch as the spillway gates are opened at Kariba North Bank dam on Lake Kariba to reduce rising water levels as a measure to protect the dam. Reuters
Johannesburg – A South African company planned to build a dam and 235 megawatt hydro-electric power station costing about $1.26 billion (R16.9 billion) in Zambia to help plug a power shortage, Zambia’s embassy in Pretoria said last Friday.

Zambia generates about 2600MW, mostly from hydro power stations.

Generation is running below capacity because of poor rainfall. Alongside growing demand for electricity, this has left the country with a deficit of about 600MW.

MDH South Africa has proposed being an anchor developer for the Ndevu Gorge Power Project which is planned on the Luangwa River in eastern Zambia, the embassy said.

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“The company has since made an application for authority to proceed with feasibility through the Ministry of Energy,” it said.

The Ndevu Gorge Hydro Power project involved building the dam on the Luangwa River to create a lake that is 165km long and 17km wide at its broadest point, and which would drive a 235MW power station, the embassy said. It said the initial estimate the construction cost was $1.26 billion.

“This could change in the feasibility phase as the design aspects are finalised.”

MDH South Africa was in discussions with investors and expected to conclude funding talks after the government issued the authority to proceed.