By Shigeru Sato

Dec. 5 (Bloomberg) — Chubu Electric Power Co., Japan’s third-biggest utility, has agreed to prepare a power infrastructure development plan for Zambia.

The utility won a 81.8 million yen ($885,000) contract with the Japan International Cooperation Agency, which has agreed with the African nation’s government to set out a master plan to develop hydroelectric and thermal power plants and other infrastructure, including transmission lines, Chubu Electric spokeswoman Emi Kawashita said by telephone from Nagoya City.

Power development consulting is part of Chubu Electric’s plan to diversify outside its home base, the company said on its Web site. Hydroelectric generation produces 94 percent of Zambia’s power demand, which is forecast to grow at 3 to 4 percent annually, according to the utility.

Chubu Electric is sending 11 engineers to Zambia and conducting the first round of its research work tomorrow, Kawashita said. The contract lasts until October.

This is the ninth consultation contract for Chubu Electric in Africa, with previous businesses in Egypt, Ghana and Mozambique, Kawashita said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Shigeru Sato in Tokyo at