Zambia’s first biomass plants on the cards

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AFRI Energy will construct 10 biomass electricity plants in Zambia’s Luapula Province.

The venture, with the first plant set to be completed in December 2018, will create an estimated 15 000 direct and indirect jobs.

“We expect each plant to create 1 500 jobs, and the raw material will be farm waste and grass as we will not encourage the cutting of trees,” said Surendranath Reddy, an executive from the company.

Reddy said the first plant would generate 36 MW of electricity. This would augment Zambia’s power supply mix, which is mainly hydro-electrical. A biomass-fired plant produces electricity and heat by burning materials such as mill residues, forest resources, farm waste and grass.

The Zambia Environmental Management Agency (ZEMA) has been conducting Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) on the project. This followed a pre-feasibility study by the company. Construction of the first plant is scheduled to start in January 2018.

Also read: Big boost for Zambia’s cassava production

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