Zambian Coal Miner to Finalize $560 Million of Power-Plant Loans

Maamba Collieries Ltd., the Nava Bharat Singapore Pte Ltd. unit building Zambia’s first coal-fired power plant in 50 years, said it will finalize loans of $560 million by December.

Plans to have the debt in place by August were postponed while the company waited for legislation exempting the electricity industry from having to bill in local currency, Janardhan Lavu, a spokesman for Maamba, said in an interview in Lusaka, the Zambian capital, today.

“We’re hoping to have the funding finalized by December and the funds available to us by February,” he said.

Maamba is building a 300-megawatt power plant next to the coal mine it owns in Zambia’s Southern Province, near Lake Kariba, to cover an electricity shortage that has cut output in Africa’s biggest copper producer. The African Development Bank agreed to loan the company $150 million as part of the total project funding, the lender said last week.

Development banks, export credit agency-backed lenders from China and commercial banks will provide the remaining loans, Lavu said. The project will cost $800 million.

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