The Zambian economy has been growing consistently, leading to increasing demand for electricity. In particular, energy intensive industries have grown considerably, driving up base load requirements of power.
Zambia’s power sector is presently dominated by hydro-electric power which is not adequate to meet the demand. Thermal power plants are ideally suited to fill this gap and play a vital role in meeting the base load requirements.
The low grade coal, a by-product of mining at MCL, has been hitherto dumped along with overburden as waste material, causing environmental hazard due to self- combustion. This is an excellent fuel for thermal power generation which will add substantial value to the operations of the company while mitigating the environmental pollution.
The reserves of thermal grade coal and coal washery rejects available at MCL are adequate to meet the fuel requirement.
In the first phase, a mine–mouth, 300MW Coal Fired Power Plant (CFPP) is being established at Maamba. The capacity will be increased to 600MW in the second phase, depending on the build-up of demand for power in the region.