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Owner’s engineer sought for Chishimba Falls hydro project in Zambia

The project, which will entail the rehabilitation and upgrading of existing civil structures as well as the construction of a new 15 MW hydropower station and associated substations, will help meet increasing energy demand in the northern region of Zambia, which has been experiencing power outages in recent years.

Zambia Electricity Supply Corporation (Zesco) invites pre-qualification bids by 4 December from qualified consultants to serve as owner’s engineer for the rehabilitation and extension of the 6 MW Chishimba Falls hydropower station on the Luombe river in Zambia’s Northern Province.

The current hydro plant is at the end of its lifetime. Commissioned in 1959 as part of Zambia’s rural electrification programme, its original installed capacity of 0.9 MW was increased to 6 MW during an upgrade completed in 1971.

The new scheme will comprise the retirement of station A, which will be converted into a technical museum for tourists, complete rehabilitation of station B with new electro-mechanical equipment and rehabilitated and adopted civil structures of its waterway, as well as enlargement of the entire facility with a new station C with capacity of approximately 15 MW in the immediate vicinity to the existing plant.

Two high voltage switchyards of 66 kV and 33 kV will be constructed next to the powerhouse and the transmission line, which connects the Chishimba plant to the existing Kasama substation. At a design water level of 20.9 m³/s, the new plant will generate total average annual output of 73 GWh.

The consulting services and overall project are being funded by Germany’s development bank KfW, which extended grant financing totalling €41.5 million in November 2019.

The services, which will be performed in Zambia over an estimated period of about 60 months, including a partial presence during a 24-month defects liability period (DLP), comprise all conventional engineering activities related to the project’s implementation progress, including the review and update of existing bidding documents for two lots (civil works and equipment), and adaptation to the new KfW Standard Bidding Documents (currently based on the FIDIC Yellow Book) in consultation with ZESCO. Services will also include supporting ZESCO in the entire procurement process, pro-active project and contract management for works, goods and services, supervision of engineering, procurement and construction of the plant and associated works, financial cost control and project audits during the implementation and update of the ESIA, and preparation of complementary ESIA gap-closing documentation including preparation of a comprehensive ESMP covering all project phases and supervision of adherence to international environmental and social safeguards.

For tender documents and further information concerning the contract (KfW Tender Number: 506192, Tender Number: ZESCO/109/20200), contact: Brian C. Kambole, Senior Manager Procurement and Stores, Procurement Office, ZESCO, Ground Floor, Regional Control Centre (RCC) Building, Adjacent to ZESCO Filling Station, Sadzu Road, PO Box 33304, Lusaka, Zambia; Email:; and/or Walter Klotz, Tender Agent, Email: