Zambia issues tender for 500 MW of large-scale PV capacity


Zambia's Industrial Development Corporation Limited (IDC) has issued a Request for Prequalification for the construction of utility-scale PV plants across the country.

The state-owned finance institution, which promotes economic growth and industrial development, said that the publication of the RfP follows the issuance of a Request for Expressions of Interest on Feb. 24 2017, and that it represents a formal prequalification round for the projects. The company is inviting private sector developers to compete for the right to develop, finance, construct, operate and maintain utility-scale solar PV IPP projects. Only prequalified bidders will be eligible to receive the Request for Proposal and to participate in the final stage of the selection process.

Through the tender, the IDC will select two separate private sector development companies or consortia to build three grid-connected PV plants separated into two projects, with a capacity of approximately 70 MW and approximately 100 MW each.

The IDC will host a pre-bid meeting with interested investors on Apr. 11. Bids must be submitted by May 5. Selected projects will be developed under the World Bank’s Scaling Solar program.

Zambia received the greenlight from the World Bank to receive funding and support for the development of 500 MW of new solar PV capacity in February. Previously, the IDC was mandated by the Zambian government to install at least 600 MW of solar power in order to redress the current power deficit in Zambia and resultant national crisis.  Two 50 MW solar projects are already being implemented by the company under the Scaling Solar initiative.

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Last year’s tender attracted a tariff of $0.0602/kWh, which is a non-indexed tariff equivalent over the contract life to a price as low as $0.047/kWh. The IDC is working closely with the World Bank and the Ministry of Energy to oversee the projects.

Scaling Solar projects are currently active in four countries – Zambia, Senegal, Ethiopia and Madagascar – with more than 1.2 GW of solar capacity being tendered. The World Bank has confirmed that it will roll-out the scheme to other regions, namely the Middle East and Asia, in the coming months.

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