The European Investment Bank (EIB) will provide a $30m loan for upgrading the Kafue-Livingstone electricity power transmission line in Zambia.
The project aims to improve regional energy distribution and double electricity transmission capacity between the Victoria Falls hydro-power station and Lusaka.
EIB vice president, Plutarchos Sakellaris, said upgrading the Kafue - Livingstone transmission line would assist the government's efforts in ensuring that a reliable supply of energy could keep pace with economic growth in Zambia and improve electricity distribution across southern Africa.
"The European Investment Bank is committed to supporting the Zambian energy sector and contributing to global goals highlighted by the 2012 international year of sustainable energy for all," said Sakellaris.
Zesco managing director, Cyprian Chitundu, said: "Upgrading of the transmission line project would provide extra power to the Southern and Western provinces of Zambia and other countries in the Southern Africa Power Pool.
The transmission line will be supported by the EU-Africa Infrastructure Trust Fund through a total grant of €5.55m split in two different components, which includes a €5.2m interest rate subsidy and a technical assistance grant of €350,000 to support procurement and monitoring.
The energy improvement scheme will include the construction of new substations to replace the current energy infrastructure, which is over 50 years old.
EIB said the project is expected to be completed by the end of 2014.
The total project cost is estimated at $100m and will be co-financed by the EIB, the World Bank and project promoter, Zambia Electricity Supply Corp (Zesco).
Image: The transmission line is expected improve regional energy distribution and double electricity transmission capacity between the Victoria Falls hydro-power station and Lusaka. Photo: courtesy of dan.