Sterling & Wilson, a global solar engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) company, has been selected to provide EPC services for the construction of Zambia’s first utility-scale solar plant. The grid-connected solar photovoltaic (PV) project will have a capacity of 54.3 MW.
Sterling & Wilson will provide the services to Neoen, a French project developer and an independent power producer.
The solar project, poised to be Zambia’s largest, will encompass 52 hectares southeast of the county’s capital city of Lusaka, in the Kafue District.
Commenting on the development, Bikesh Ogra, the president and CEO of Sterling & Wilson’s Renewable Energy and Energy Storage business, said that his company has already commissioned 90 MW of solar PV plants in Africa to date.
“Zambia is one of the key markets for us considering the booming renewable energy segment and the Zambian government’s support for the development of 500 MW of new solar PV plants in next couple of years,” Ogra said.
He added that Zambia regularly suffers from power outages that last for more than 10 hours a day and one report suggests that one in five people living in the country lacks access to electricity.
“We are glad to be chosen by Neoen for this project and are privileged to be part of the energy revolution in a power deficit market,” Ogra said.
In a media statement released by Sterling & Wilson, the company added that this will also be the first project to be implemented as part of Zambia’s Scaling Solar Program. The program is being promoted by the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group.
Zambia’s Industrial Development Corporation signed an agreement with IFC to develop two, large-scale solar projects through the Scaling Solar Program in 2015.
The project is also the latest in a series of contracts awarded to Sterling & Wilson. In January, the company also won the right to develop a 9.9 MW grid-connected solar project at India’s Cochin International Airport for CIAL Infrastructures Ltd., a fully-owned subsidiary of Cochin International Airport Ltd.
In June 2017, Sterling & Wilson also won an EPC bid to develop a 1,177 MW solar project in the town of Sweihan in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi.
According to Mercom India Solar Quarterly Reports, Sterling and Wilson is by far the largest solar EPC company in India with over 2 GW in commissioned capacity.
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