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« on: May 18 2012 »

Times of Zambia / Business
By Maimbolwa Mulikelela

Published On: Thu, May 17th, 2012
MAAMBA Collieries Limited (MCL) has started construction of the long awaited 300 megawatts (MW) thermal power plant which will gobble up more than US$600 million.

The plant being constructed by Shandong Electric Power Construction Corporation (SEPCO) of China, is expected to be completed in 30 months.

In an interview in Lusaka yesterday, Maamba Collieries head of corporate affairs Janardhan Lavu said the construction of the 300 MW power plant was on course and would create 500 employment opportunities for Zambians who would, apart from taking part in the construction process, also be engaged in other related works.

Mr Lavu said the project will have the effect of meeting the two objectives of MCL, creating employment opportunities in Zambia and also help the company in gearing up for the take-over of the power plant.

Maamba Collieries is 65 per cent owned by Nava Bharat of Singapore Pty Limited (NBS) and 35 per cent by Zambia Consolidated Copper Mine Investment Holdings (ZCCM-IH).

Mr Lavu also said that the company has commenced the recruitment of Zambians to run and operate the thermal power plant when it is completed.

The recruitment drive will encompass both fresh engineering and technical graduates from universities and colleges as well as those expected from within Zambia.

Requirements for training will be carried out in a phased manner saying, during the first phase, 86 Zambians would be selected to undergo rigorous training.

“All the staff will be trained both on site during construction of the power plant and will also have an opportunity to be exposed to existing Nava Bharat thermal power plant in field orientation and theoretical skills at the training institution in Paloncha in India,” Mr Lavu said.

Meanwhile, the company had stepped up sales of coal after the launch of the old Coal Handling and Processing Plant (CHPP) on May 1, this year.

Recently the company had projected to sell 360,000 tonnes of high grade coal worth $23 million this year.

It is planned that Maamba Collieries achieves a monthly coal sales of 40,000 tonnes of high grade coal for both the domestic and export market.
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