Tokyo, Wednesday, February 7, 2018: – Government says it has commenced discussions on a nuclear energy development programme that will result in the generation of about two GigaWatts of electricity.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs Permanent Secretary for International Relations and Cooperation, Chalwe Lombe says the programme will take approximately 15 years.
He disclosed this when he held talks with Toshiba General Manager for Government and External Relations, Yoshita Yamaguchi in Kawasaki today.
Ambassador Lombe says the government is already in consultations with the International Atomic Energy Agency -IAEA-, which is the world’s centre for cooperation in the nuclear field.
“The IAEA Chief, (Director General, Yukiya Amano) was recently in Zambia and discussed with the government the prospects of such a program and help in ensuring that development of nuclear energy is done in a safe and protected environment,” he said.
Ambassador Lombe says the proposed nuclear programme is among many projects aimed at diversifying and broadening the energy generation sector.
He said Zambia is positioning herself to become the energy powerhouse of Southern Africa owing to the huge potential in Hydro, Nuclear, Solar, and Geothermal power generation.
Ambassador Lombe encouraged Toshiba and other Japanese firms to invest in various areas of the energy sector because there is great investment potential coupled with an advantageous geopolitical position which provides access to markets in the Southern and East African regions.
He said Zambia’s ambitious energy investment programme is aimed at promoting electricity trade to enhance the security of power supply through interconnectivity, and foster national and regional economic integration.
And Dr Yamaguchi said Toshiba will soon invest in Zambia’s energy sector once the feasibility study on geothermal is concluded.
He said his company has been in talks with the Zambian Embassy in Japan over the possibility of establishing of a geothermal power plant in Zambia.
“Toshiba is a very experienced company and number one in the world when it comes to the establishment of geothermal power plants. We would also like to introduce our hydrogen system which is the first in the world used to generate electricity,” said Dr Yamaguchi.
He also said he looks forward to engaging more with the Zambian government in finding energy solutions for the country.
The Permanent Secretary also held high-level talks with Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) vice president, Hiroshi Kato where various developmental and bilateral issues were discussed.