USAID’s Largest Power Africa Transaction to Improve Power Grid in Zambia


A 60 million USD partnership have been signed by USAID and Standard Chartered to boost power generation in Zambia. According to a Standard Chartered report, the partnership is the largest transaction to have been made by USAID towards the Power Africa project launched by the U.S president, Barack Obama. The Power Africa project – a broad partnership which aims to boost economic development, by providing access to electricity to homes and businesses across Africa. This is also the Bank’s second Power Africa partnership to benefit Zambia, with the first being Standard Charterer’s Private Equity investment in Zambian Energy Corporation.

At the signing ceremony in Lusaka, Chief Executive Officer of the Group’s Corporate & Institutional Banking division, said “This transaction correlates directly with ‘Energy & Climate Change’ – the central theme for African Development Bank’s AGM which was hosted in Lusaka, Zambia this last week.  Africa accounts for around a sixth of the world’s population, but only generates 4% of its electricity.  Through our commitment to Power Africa partnerships – such as the one we have officiated with ZESCO – Standard Chartered will continue to support infrastructure development which provides a solid platform for long term economic growth.”

Standard Chartered have been previously involved in the Power Africa project. It has demonstrated allegiance in supporting transactions that will support the efforts of national power grids and access to electricity in Africa. In this recent partnership with USAID, Standard Chartered will provide a term loan worth 60 million to Zambia’s Electricity Supply Corporation (ZESCO) – a business established in 1970 to generate, transmit, distribute and supply electricity within Zambia as well as exporting to the Southern Africa Power Pool countries. It has installed generation capacity of 2,224 MW which comprises 2,212 MW hydro (99%) and 11.3 MW diesel (1%). It has four licenses for its strategic business units, generation, transmission, distribution and supply. The 60 million USD is also to finance capital expenditure Lusaka Transmission and Distribution Rehabilitation Project (LTDRP) as well as provide bridge financing to facilitate new connections to the grid.


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