R35-million substation upgrade a success story for both Zambia and CONCO 

August 2014 – Consolidated Power Projects (CONCO) has officially handed over the R35-million upgraded Luangwa 66/11kV substation to ZESCO Limited and the community of Kitwe on behalf of the government of the Republic of Zambia. Dignitaries present at the handover included the Ministers of Mines, Energy and Water Development, Copperbelt Provincial Ministers, members of parliament, the Mayor and deputy mayor of the City of Kitwe, the district commissioner for Kitwe, the managing director of ZESCO Limited, and other Zambian leaders and councillors.
Luangwa Handover D Van Zyl & Copperbelt Minister
Luangwa Handover D Van Zyl & Copperbelt Minister

Speaking at the handover function, the Copperbelt Minister, the Honourable Mwenya Laban Musenge, MP, stated, “Kitwe today is witnessing a success story of one of the government’s key strategic plans, which will result in employment creation and sustainable economic development through the increase in access to electricity as well as assist ZESCO improve its operational efficiency and revenue collection.”

The minister congratulated ZESCO Limited and CONCO for successfully completing the upgrade of the key power distribution substation in Kitwe. He went on to say that such investments confirm the commitment government has made in upgrading and constructing new energy infrastructure throughout Zambia. He emphasised the Zambian government’s commitment to ensuring that a larger part of the population has access to electricity, stating that currently access to electricity in Zambia is about 25%, with the rural areas having less than 3% access.

CONCO opened a dedicated office in Zambia in 2010, and has since undertaken various electrical infrastructure projects in the country. In so doing, CONCO has created job opportunities for local Zambian citizens and has been instrumental in transferring skills to people in those regions. The Luangwa project, however, is the first project CONCO has undertaken with ZESCO and has been hailed as a benchmark for other infrastructure projects in the country.

Speaking at the handover, CONCO’s CEO David van Zyl said, “We are proud to announce that we are expanding our office resource in Zambia and will be moving to bigger offices in Lusaka. This will result in further job creation opportunities for the local citizens of Zambia and more so in the transfer of skills.”

David van Zyl called upon ZESCO and the government of the Republic of Zambia to take advantage of the available project relationships that CONCO has with reputable financial institutions which can be used to undertake work on projects that are critical and of high economical value to the nation. He stated that CONCO is prepared and ready to facilitate such a process in view of bringing projects to fruition.

The Honourable Mwenya Laban Musenge, MP, concluded his speech saying, “As Government, we wish to thank ZESCO Limited and CONCO for delivering this quality Luangwa 66/11kV substation to Kitwe for the benefit of our people in all the surrounding areas of Kitwe. I wish to also thank ZESCO management for seizing this opportunity to move the corporation and the country forward.”

David van Zyl reaffirmed CONCO’s commitment to working hand in hand with the government in uplifting the standards of life of the Zambian people. “CONCO’s policy is to give back to the communities wherein we operate,” he said, “and we are happy to report that under our community/corporate social responsibility programme, we have worked on the water reticulation system at Luangwa Clinic. It is our desire to see to it that the community of Luangwa benefits from this project.”

Caption to photograph: CONCO CEO, Mr David van Zyl (left), shaking hands with Zambian Copperbelt Minister, the Honourable Mwenya Laban Musenge, MP.