ZESCO engages international lawyers

International law firm Dewey & LeBoeuf has been appointed as legal advisor to the Zambia Electricity Supply Corporation’s (Zesco’s) $480-million Kariba North Bank extension project.

The 360-MW hydropower station, which would be developed as an extension to the existing 720-MW Kariba North Bank power station, on the Zambezi River, was expected to be completed by December 2012.

It would boost Zambia’s overall electricity generating capacity, allowing it to meet its growing power demands and reduce its reliance on power imports from its Southern African neighbours.

A $60-million loan by the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) would soon reach financial closure and allow for the release of a $420-million loan from China’s Exim Bank, to fund the project.

Investment banking firm Fieldstone and the DBSA had been appointed as the financial advisors during the loan process.

China’s Sinohydro had started the construction of the plant in November 2008.

Zambia had the potential to produce an estimated 6 000 MW of hydropower.

Zesco was also planning to seek financing for its 120-MW Itezhi-Tezhi hydroelectric project, which would cost an estimated $275-million by the time it is completed in 2013.

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