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Zambia Takes a Step Towards Sustainable Energy with New Solar Plant 

The Copperbelt Energy Corporation (CEC) marked a significant step towards sustainable energy production with the official commissioning of the 60-megawatt Itimpi Solar Photovoltaic Power Station in Kitwe.  

President Hakainde Hichilema himself presided over the ceremony, highlighting the project’s contribution to Zambia’s goal of generating a diversified energy mix. 

President Hichilema emphasized the importance of the Itimpi plant as a national asset,  contributing to the country’s economic development agenda. He acknowledged CEC’s role, stating, “What CEC has done today adds to our agenda as a nation.” 

CEC Board Chairperson, Mr. London Mwafulilwa, reiterated the company’s commitment to partnering with the government and industry stakeholders. “This commissioning is an affirmation of our commitment to contribute to the advancement of the electricity sector and the social-economic development of our country,” he declared. 

CEC’s Managing Director, Mr. Owen Silavwe, highlighted the project’s timeliness. “The drought this year is a wake-up call,” he remarked. The Itimpi plant, along with CEC’s existing Riverside Solar Plant, will deliver a combined annual energy output of 186 GWh, contributing to a more stable power supply. 

The Itimpi plant is not just about energy generation; it’s also about environmental responsibility.  The plant is expected to offset 122,000 tonnes of carbon emissions annually, supporting Zambia’s efforts to reduce its carbon footprint. 

The Itimpi Solar Photovoltaic Power Station boasts an impressive capacity. Equipped with solar tracking technology, it has the potential to generate 130 GWh of energy annually.  The plant covers 80 hectares and utilizes 109,144 mono-crystalline bifacial solar modules and 200 inverters. 

The construction of the Itimpi plant, valued at over USD 53 million,  was financed through the first tranche of CEC Renewables’ USD 200 million Green Bond listed on the Lusaka Securities Exchange.  

CEC plans to leverage the remaining tranches of the Green Bond for future solar projects, including a planned 126MW solar plant scheduled for construction on the same site in 2025. 

CEC’s commitment extends beyond energy generation. Over 1,220 skilled and unskilled workers found employment during the Itimpi project’s construction phase. 

Additionally, CEC partnered with the Forestry Department to create income opportunities for local wood merchants through the utilization of trees cleared for the project. 

The commissioning of the Itimpi Solar Photovoltaic Power Station represents a major milestone for CEC and Zambia.  This project strengthens CEC’s position as a leader in the energy transmission sector, promotes a diversified and sustainable energy mix for Zambia, and contributes to the nation’s sustainable development goals.

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