Sunbird Bioenergy Zambia today signed an Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (IPPA) with the Zambia Development Agency. A signing ceremony was held at the project site on the Luena Farm Block, near Kawambwa, Luapula Province, Zambia.
The US$190 million project is expected to produce 120 million litres of fuel grade anhydrous bioethanol and up to 36 MW of power. The plant will require 700,000 MT of cassava per annum, which will be sourced from a sustainable out-grower program. This is expected to produce long-term economic opportunities for more than 10,000 rural farmers and out-growers.
The project was first proposed by Sunbird Bioenergy Africa in 2014, and the Government sent a delegation to Thailand on a due diligence mission to the bioenergy project that Sunbird Bioenergy’s partner China New Energy had implemented in that country.
Following their findings and recommendations, the government through the Zambia Development Agency (ZDA) embarked on negotiations with Sunbird Bioenergy to agree on the best sustainable model through which the investment could be actualised. A year later in December, President Edgar Lungu officiated at the ground breaking ceremony at the site in the Luena Farm Block in Kawambwa, signifying the commitment by Government to implement a similar project in Zambia.
The facilitation and implementation of the Sunbird project will ensure that meaningful investment is deployed to all parts of the country, especially rural areas where there are primary resources. It is the Government’s priority to deliver rural development through the industrialisation strategy that is anchored in the Ministry of Commerce,Trade and Industry. Government’s focus is to re-energise that commitment through significant investments to create wealth and jobs.
This will change the economic lives of the people and bring industrialisation to rural areas. The investment will also ensure that rural communities are empowered with sustainable jobs that bring about wealth and emancipation of rural Zambians.