Govt keen to address energy deficit — Siliya

Government has reiterated its commitment to exploring other means of sourcing energy to cushion the power deficit.
Focus will continue in the area of hydro, solar, wind, geothermal and biomass.
Energy Minister Dora Siliya said the Government would hold a meeting with Zambian energy promoters and the African Development Bank (AfDB) office in the country to accelerate the preparation of potential projects to a bankable stage.
Ms Siliya said in a statement on her Facebook page that so far, the ministry had shortlisted 15 solar projects whose promoters she would meet to address their investment challenges.
The minister said the just-ended AfDB meetings on climate change and energy unveiled its new deal partnership on energy and would assist in coordinating the 23 initiatives available to African governments.
Ms Siliya was pleased with the US$12 billion investment, including up to $1 million dollars for feasibility projects.
“We want to exploit hydro, solar, wind, geothermal and biomass potential. The ministry has shortlisted 15 solar projects whose promoters I will meet to address their investment challenges.
“I am very pleased too with the $12 billion, including up to a million dollars for feasibility projects,” Ms Siliya said.
She said in view of the power crisis, there were opportunities to create wealth and jobs and that as a minister, she would prioritise investment with local participation in order to reduce capital flight and bring new jobs to Zambia as well as skills and technology transfer.
Ms Siliya described the AfDB meetings as a success and encouraged women to participate more in energy projects.
“The partnership with the AfDB brings governments, the private sector and financial institutions together to address our energy deficit.
“My job is to ensure that now that the talking is over, we execute the plans and increase access to electricity,” she said.

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