ZESCO Limited, a vertically integrated parastatal utility company established in 1970, responsible  for  the  generation,  transmission,  distribution  and  supply  of  electricity intends to engage a service provider to dispose of Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs).

The corporation has massive investments in generation, transmission and distribution infrastructure  spread  across  the  whole  country,  which  property  had  in  the  past generated Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs). Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB) are one of the  twenty  two  (22)  Persistent  Organic  Pollutants  (POPs).  These  are  chemical substances which persistently bio accumulate, and pose the risk of causing adverse effects to human health and the environment. PCBs have been widely used as additives to oils, as coolants in transformers, capacitors and other electrical equipment, hydraulic machinery and other applications where chemical stability has been required for safety, operation or durability. PCBs are also widely used in a variety of other products such as carbonless paper, adhesives and hydraulic fluids.

PCBs are amongst the most widespread environmental pollutants, having been detected in virtually all environmental media. PCBs are not only persistent, but are also toxic. They  bio-accumulates  in  aquatic  and  terrestrial  food  chains  and  bio-magnify  in predators due to consumption of contaminated prey. Small amounts of PCBs can also be found in soil surfaces, in surface water and plants.

Among the health effects caused by PCBs are skin rashes, disturbance in liver functions and  the  immune  system,  irritation  of  the  respiratory  tract,  headaches,  dizziness, memory loss, nervousness, fatigue, impotence and mutation.

The management of PCBs at the global level is through various conventions such as the Stockholm  and  Basel  Conventions.  The  Stockholm  Convention  was  adopted  in Stockholm, Sweden 2001, and entered into force in May 2004. The Convention has the objective of protecting human health and the environment from Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs). It recognizes the requirement for the development of National Action

Plans to identify, characterize and address the use of POPs. It is also an instrument used to strategize for identification of stockpiles of PCBs and articles in use and waste containing PCBs and contaminated sites (article 6). The phase out period for the PCBs according to the Stockholm convention is set at 2020, however the SADC region has an earlier deadline of 2015.

The Basel Convention on the other hand was adopted by member countries of the United Nations on the control of trans-boundary movement of hazardous waste and their disposal. It provides a number of obligations and guidelines in relation to the environmentally sound management of hazardous waste. The convention guides governments or organizations charged with the task of managing, destruction or decontamination of POPs generally and PCBs in particular with procedures that assist with the planning and selection of appropriate technologies that suit with the need for environmentally sound management principles and principles of sustainability.

In Zambia, the Environmental Management Act No.12 of 2011, with its subsidiary regulations, is the principal environmental law of the land. The Environmental Management (Licensing) Regulation of 2013, provide guidelines for the management of PCBs and other hazardous materials. The regulation provides for licensing of hazardous waste production, storage and disposal facilities.

Over 10,000 pieces of equipment were captured in the inventory, characterized and some randomly sampled and tested for PCBs. Concentration of PCBs containing equipment were found in Kariba (22 transformers containing over 14,000 litres of pure PCBs) and in Kitwe on the Copperbelt (with over 1,900 PCB filled capacitors weighing over 64,000kg). 



Material Quantity Storage Facility


oil 30 708 litres kariba


soil 195 884 kg kariba


transformers 66 739 kariba


capacitors 64 000kg luano


total liquids 30 708


total solids 326 623kg


ZESCO Limited (ZESCO) has set aside resources from its own internally generated funds to apply to the Project for the disposal of Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs).

ZESCO Limited now invites eligible firms to express their interest in providing the services of packaging, collecting, loading, transporting and dispose the PCBs.   The foreign firms are required to partner with both local and citizen in line with the ZPPA Act No. 12 of 2008 to enhance their qualifications.



Contractor is required to undertake the process of packaging, removal, transportation, shipping and delivery to the approved disposal facility. The final result will be an approved Disposal Certificate of all the outlined PCB materials and contaminated equipment to be issued to ZESCO Limited in accordance to international conventions.


Disposal of PCBs:Thiswill include butnotlimited to:

a)CollectingandpackagingallPCBcontaminatedmaterialsandequipmentin Zambia and in the neighbouring countries enroute to the port of shipping;


c)  Remove all PCBsin ZESCO;

d)Transportand ship fordisposaltoacertified and approveddisposalcenter;Secure the PCBs during the collecting, removal, storage,transportationand shipping of thePCBs;and

f)  SubmitacertificateofPCBsdisposalfromtheDisposalFacilitytoZESCO Limitedin linewith internationaconventions.


Interested  firms  should  provide  information  indicating  that  they  are  qualified  to undertake the assignment by submitting their detailed information on the following:-

1.Demonstrated experience and expertise in the packaging, collecting, removal, storage, transportation and disposal of large quantities of toxic materials in particular PCBs in any one of the last ten years;

2.Minimum five (5No.) Years demonstrable experience in undertaking similar tasks/assignments in Utility or Private Companies;

3.Availability  of appropriate  skills  by providing bio-data of key  staff  to be involved and other relevant particulars;

4.Provide Evidence of membership to relevant professional bodies responsible for disposal or handling and management of toxic materials and substances;

5.Evidence  of  financial  capacity  to  carry  out  the  assignment  (Submit independently audited annual financial statements for the last three (3No.) years);

6. Should be a legally registered company;

7.Should have demonstrated capacity for safe handling and temporal storage of hazardous waste, PCBs (Internationally renowned certification in handling PCB materials and waste) inclusive by providing certification from approved institution in safety standards;

8.Should have demonstrated knowledge of requirements of the Zambian and international Environmental Regulations on POPs (Provide certifications or reference letters);

9.Should have the Zambia Environmental Management Agency (ZEMA) and International License for transportation, handling, storage and disposal of PCBs (Provide certification license(s));

10.Should have demonstrated knowledge of the requirements and provisions of the Rotterdam Convention and Stockholm Conventions;

11.Should have demonstrated knowledge of the PCB transportation requirements in different neighboring countries of the Southern African Region for each route  chosen  to  the  sea  (Provide  certifications  or  accreditation  from  all countries,  and  places  where  the  PCBs  shall  be  allowed  to  transit  and eventually disposed of;

12.Should  have  demonstrated  Knowledge  of  trans-boundary  shipment  of hazardous  materials  under  the  Basel  Convention  (including  insurance, exporter – importer  notifications including other information required under the provision of the Basel Convention);

13.Should have demonstrated knowledge of existing PCBs disposal mechanisms and disposal firms.  This shall be demonstrated by the methodology that shall be     submitted   detailing   the   process   from   collecting   point,   storage, transportation, and disposal of PCBs;

14. Should have demonstrated knowledge of PCBs disposal certification;

15. Should have knowledge of Globally Harmonized System of Classification and labeling of chemicals.

16.Should provide a well-structured flow chart to demonstrate the understanding of the process and procedures to be undertaken from the PCBs pick-up to the disposal.

The Expression of Interest must be deposited in the tender box on the 2nd Floor, New Building, ZESCO  Limited, Head Office, Stand No. 6949, Great  East Road,  Lusaka, Zambia on or before Friday, 29th  August 2014 at 10.30 hours local time. The telephone numbers are +260 (211) 223971 and +260 (211) 362315 and the telefax number is +260 (211) 223971.  HOWEVER, TELEFAX OFFERS WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED.

The closing date for the receipt of expression of interest is Friday, 29th August 2014 at 10.30 hours local time and any expression of interest proposal received after the time and date stipulated above shall not be accepted.  The expression of interest shall be opened in the ZESCO Auditorium located on the Ground Floor of the New Building, ZESCO Head Office on the same date at 10.30 hours in the presence of consultants or their representatives who choose to attend.