Mozambican independent gas firm part of Zesco’s ‘rescue plan’ as Zambians brace for worsening load shedding


(2015-09-01) ZESCO has further reduced electricity generation at Kariba north bank power station to 300 Mega Watts (MW),blaming this on it’s customers who they say consume too much electricity after load shedding hours.

The country now only has 1,158 Giga Watt hours (GWh) of electricity accessible for generation at Kariba from the 4,996 GWh which was available for the period June 1, to December this year.

Zesco senior manager for marketing and public relations Bessie Banda said at a media briefing in Lusaka yesterday that the Kariba power station could be shut prematurely due to the impending lack of water for electricity generation. Zesco previously generated 800 MW from Kariba before the figure trickled down to 560 MW after the Zambezi River Authority (ZRA) rationed water supplied for generation owing to poor rainfall.Ms Banda said the current pattern of consumption after the 8-hour daily load shedding programme was not helping the rationing exercise which is intended at conserving water for electricity generation in the months ahead. She said the trend of consumers maximizing the usage of electricity while the commodity was available could lead to Zesco prematurely shutting Kariba power station as early as next month.

The Plan

1 – To urge Consumers to stop maximising usage of electricity
Zesco is appealing to it’s esteemed customers to continue to conserve and use electricity energy responsibly when power supply is restored to avoid shutting down the power station prematurely next month.

2 – Buy solar panels, etc ..just in case

Government has fast tracked the process of finding alternative sources of energy to replace hydro-electricity.Mines, Energy and Water Development Permanent Secretary Emelda Chola said a number of companies had been identified to supply alternative sources of energy in case the country’s existing stock from hydro deleted completely.

3 – Import emergency power for the mines

ZESCO will import an additional 140 MW as emergency power from an independent gas producing firm based in Mozambique.ZESCO senior manager for system operations and trading Changala Nswana said the bulk of the consignment would be targeted at servicing the mines.This brings electricity imports from Mozambique to more than 400 MW after Zesco earlier contracted 300 MW from Electricidade de Mozambique (EDM).

4 – 60MW expected from Itezhi-tezhi in December

ZESCO has made headway on medium and long term projects to improve distribution with the 120 MW Itezhi-tezhi hydro power project which is 87 percent complete.The first 60 MW of the project will be commissioned in December this year while the other 60 MW would be commissioned in January, 2016.

5 – 300MW from Maamba Collieries next year

The 300 MW coal fired power plant by Maamba Collieries will be commissioned in two phases in the first quarter of next year.

6 – Install 300MW solar plants

Zesco would install 300 MW of power in distributed solar plants starting next year

7 – Buy 2million fluoresent lamps

Two million compact fluorescent lamps have been procured for distribution countrywide.

Source: The Lusaka Times

Photo: A file photo with a view of Zambian Kariba dam

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