Zambia's mineworkers union head invites Chinese investors in alternative energy development
Zambia will need the technological and technical experience as well as resources of Chinese firms to catapult its efforts of promoting alternative energy sources, a union that represents workers in the mining industry said Friday.
Joseph Chewe, the president of the Mineworkers Union of Zambia (MUZ), said Chinese investors have shown competence and have the technical capability to conduct large-scale projects and would help the country boost its energy requirement.
"We cannot forget or put aside Chinese influence in technology. We must not shy away from bringing Chinese technology, bringing Chinese resources to our country to develop the country because we need (the) energy to develop this country," he said in an interview.
According to him, Chinese investors should be encouraged to partner with local firms in developing alternative energy sources such as solar, wind or thermal energy because Chinese companies have shown competence in carrying out large-scale projects.
The involvement of Chinese firms in the development of alternative renewable energy projects will go a long way in helping Zambia tackle its electricity challenges, he stressed.
He said companies like Chinese construction firm Sino-hydro Corporation Limited, which in November 2021 signed an agreement with the Copperbelt Energy Corporation, a publicly listed firm that provides electricity to Zambia's mining industry, for constructing a 33-MW solar plant for the latter and had done it within a short period, showed the competence level of Chinese firms. The solar plant, which involved the installation of more than 61,320 solar panels and the construction of two transmission lines, came on stream Wednesday.
One thing the Chinese are demonstrating to the whole world and particularly to Zambia is that they can do projects within a short period of time, he said, adding that Zambia requires such partnerships to accelerate development.
The labor union leader also said China has been an all-weather partner in Zambia's development agenda. "So this is the friendship that we need; this is the partnership that is necessary for the country to move forward," he said.