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Environmental and Social Impact Assessment

for the proposed Mulungushi Hydro Power Project

Introduction

The Lunsemfwa Hydro Power Company Limited (LHPC), of which Agua Imara AS (formerly SN Power Africa) has a stake, is considering developing a 80-100MW hydropower project (HPP) on the Mulungushi River in the Chimuka and Kapiri Mposhi Districts, located in the Central Province of Zambia, approximately 60km to the south east of Kabwe. The Mulungushi HPP will consist of the development, financing, construction, operation, management and maintenance of a new electricity generation hydropower station that will replace the existing but outdated ~30MW Mulungushi hydropower station. The existing Mulungushi Dam will provide the reservoir of water required for the updated Mulungushi HPP.

There are two phases to the ESIA, namely:

Phase 1 - Scoping; and

Phase 2 - Baseline, Impact Assessment and framework Social and Environmental Management Plan (SEMP).

Background

The Mulungushi HPP (Alternative 1) was selected from one of four alternatives that were evaluated in terms of their net benefit (input costs relative to their power generation capacity). Compared to the other alternatives, Alternative 1 has the largest net head (distance the water falls), highest average annual energy generation, lowest maintenance costs, and is the alternative with the lowest probability interrupting of power generation from the existing Mulungushi Hydropower Station or allow for a ‘discharge unit’.

Construction of the Mulungushi HPP will involve the drilling of a pressure tunnel (approximately 5.4km in length) from the Mulungushi Dam directly to the new Mulungushi Powerhouse which will be built adjacent to the existing Mulungushi Powerhouse (approximately 400m downstream). Water from the Mulungushi Dam will be fed into the pressure tunnel through a power intake that connects the upper end of the pressure tunnel to the Mulungushi Dam. The pressure tunnel drops approximately 385m in elevation from the power intake at the Mulungushi Dam down to the new Mulungushi Powerhouse.

The new Mulungushi Powerhouse is planned to be a surface facility, compared the alternative underground powerhouse, and will contain two 40-50MW Francis turbines. This powerhouse will be located on the left bank of the Mulungushi River between the existing powerhouse and it’s confluence with the Katobo River. The Mulungushi HPP will have a higher installed capacity than the existing Mulungushi Hydropower Station, in order to utilize all the water available. For the Mulungushi HHP, a future extraction capacity of about 20m3/s has been estimated. Such flow would lead to a more or less complete dam drawdown in the driest years, with the average spillage estimated to be almost negligible (~1 percent).

The total installed capacity of the Mulungushi HPP will be in excess of the capacity of the existing 66kV line to the ZESCO sub-station at “14-Miles”. Instead of strengthening the line capacity, the Mulungushi HPP will be connected to the new 330kV transmission line from the Muchinga HPP (located to the east of the Mulugushi HPP) to the “14-Miles” sub-station. This transmission line is planned to pass by Mulungushi along the same route as the existing 66kV line.

A new access road of approximately 4.5km is planned which will link the village of Mulungushi to the new Mulungushi Powerhouse at the bottom of the gorge.

Mulungushi HPP ESIA

The ESIA will provide decision-makers and stakeholders with a comprehensive evaluation of the impacts of the proposed Mulungushi HPP on the natural and human environments, taking into account their local, regional, national and international importance. This has been done through a combination of scientific studies and stakeholder consultation. The ESIA has involved extensive public participation, especially amongst the directly affected communities in the project area that will enable the relevant government agencies, parastatals, NGOs, the interested public in Zambia, the opportunity to voice their concerns, opinions and ideas with respect to the project.

Purpose of this web-site

The purpose of this web-site is to keep stakeholders updated on the Mulungushi HPP ESIA progress; to allow stakeholders to access information on the ESIA process; and to provide the contact details of the ESIA project management team.

ESIA progress update

Phase 1 - Scoping is complete and the Scoping Report and Terms of Reference have been submitted to the Zambian Environmental Management Agency (ZEMA) in April 2013. ERM is currently engaged with Phase 2 of the ESIA.

Downloads Available

The following Project documents are currently available to be downloaded: [listed below would be the action links to documents to download]

Phase 1 - Scoping Report (4Mb PDF)

Phase 1 - Terms of Reference (239Kb PDF)

Background Information Document (English) (BID) on the project (562 KB PDF)

Background Information Document (Bemba)

Comment on the ESIA Process

You are invited to comment on the proposed project and ESIA process. You may submit your comments to:

Jacob Chishiba
Tel: (260)967758581
Mobile: (260)977758591
Email: jchishiba@gmail.com