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Sinohydro halt construction of Kafue Gorge hydroelectric dam due to difficulties beyond its control.
Construction of Kafue Gorge hydroelectric dam was put on hold by China’s state-owned Sinohydro. The dam was put on hold due to “difficulties beyond its control” according to Sinohydro.
The construction which kick-off in 2015 has employed more than 5,000 people. However, it is a major blow as the country is trying to reduce it dependence on other nations. It has also spoiled the proposed commissioning plans which was earlier announced by Zambia’s Minister of Energy Matthew Nkhuwa.
The project is been implemented through a public-private partnership (PPP) signed between the government and Zambia Electricity Supply Corporation (Zesco).
The reservoir is built 55 km upstream of the confluence point between Kafue River and Zambezi River. While more than 17 km upstream is the Kafue Gorge Upper dam, which has a capacity of 900 MW.
Meanwhile, according to Sinohydro, the Kafue Gorge hydroelectric power station will be able to supply 750 MW. As the concrete rockfill dam is 140 m high and has a crest length of between 8 m and 10 m with water retention having a valve with five 400 m long penstocks. While, a surface power plant built below will be equipped with five 150 MW turbines each.
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