The European Investment Bank is to provide $30m towards the upgrade of a 341 km transmission line in Zambia.

The Kafue-Livingstone line is the only major electricity connection in south-western Zambia and its upgrade will enable power to be traded with nearby Namibia via the Caprivi interconnector.

The upgrade, which is due for completion in 2014, will boost capacity from the current 120 MW to 360 MW and will include the construction of new substations to replace some infrastructure which is over 50 years old.

The original line between the Victoria Falls hydro-power station and Lusaka was built in the 1970s.

The total cost of the project is around $100m, with other support coming from the World Bank the Zambia Electricity Supply Corporation.

 “Upgrading the Kafue-Livingstone transmission line will assist the Zambian government’s efforts to ensure that a reliable supply of energy can keep pace with economic growth in Zambia and improve electricity distribution across southern Africa,” said European Investment Bank vice-president Plutarchos Sakellaris.

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