The Eastern and Southern African Trade and Development Bank (TDB) has approved a US$15.6 million bilateral loan facility for Consolidated Farming Limited (CFL), an integrated sugar cane firm for expansion of its bagasse power plant generation.

Bagasse is the fibrous matter that remains after sugar cane or sorghum stalks are crushed to extract their juice and is used as a bio-fuel and in the manufacture of pulp and building materials.

The loan facility is part of US$23.8 million expansion plan for CFL’s sugar cane power plant from six megawatts (MW) to 24 MW in Nampundwe area.

According to statement issued by TDB, the investment is in line with Government’s strategic objective to diversify Zambia’s energy mix from the current dependence on hydro power.

CFL is a private limited company that has been an existing client of the bank for the past 14 years and produces Kafue Sugar brand.

At the regional level, the bank has provided close to US$16 billion in financing trade and socio-economic investment.

Commenting on the development, TDB president and chief executive officer Admassu Tadesse said, “We will continue scaling up, with continued attention to economic transformation, sustainability and good corporate governance,”

The bank has funded several renewable energy projects such as Turkana wind power in Kenya, Hydromax mini-hydro in Uganda and industrial projects such as cement and steel plants in Democratic Republic of Congo, Djibouti, Zambia, Rwanda, Ethiopia and Zimbabwe.

Meanwhile, TDB will today open its annual general meeting that will reflect on the bank’s achievements and look at sustainable ways of tackling future challenges in the diverse industries and sectors of the region.

The high-level event taking place in Seychelles has attracted various stakeholders to discuss trade and investment opportunities on the continent and challenges in managing investments and achieving development impact from a practitioner point of view.

Among the eminent guests in attendance include former President Rupiah Bwezani Banda, African Union former Deputy Chair Erastus Mwencha and African Development Bank former President Donald Kaberuka.

As part of TDB’s effort to expand the Bank’s membership and recruitment of new stakeholders, an eminent persons’ advisory panel has been established to advise them on matters of strategies, partnerships and resource mobilisation.