ZESCO rolls out power generation and infrastructure projects

ZESCO ProjectVarious projects rolled out across Zambia aim to meet the high demand for electricity in the country. (Image source: ZESCO)Nawa Mutumweno guides us through the new infrastructure projects Zambian electricity supplier ZESCO plans to roll out as its attempts to improve the quality of the country's electrical supply and meet the growing demand for power

With increased investment being made in the country's various industrial sectors such as mining, manufacturing, construction and agriculture, ZESCO hopes these power projects will eliminate the rolling blackouts that are hindering both the economy and social development.

Kariba North Bank Extension

Construction is currently underway on this project that plans to extend the existing power station by installing two extra machines of 180MW each and has an estimated value of US$298.4mn.
Installation of hydromechanical equipment is in progress, as well as construction of 330/132/33kV substation and a 330kV line. The project is expected to be completed by the end of 2014.

Kafue Gorge Lower

The estimated cost for this project is US$1.9mn. The scope of the project involves the construction of a 750MW hydropower plant, water ways and a high-voltage switchyard. The project is expected to be completed by 2018.

Itezhi Tezhi Power Project

The estimated cost of this project is $US2.9mn. The scope of the project involves the construction of a new 120MW plant at Itezhi Tezhi and the upgrade of dam facilities and capacity. The infrastructure has already been completed while the surface excavation around the power house area is in progress. It is expected to be completed by 2015.

Upgrading of Lunzua Power Station

The scope of this project includes the installation of two generation machines of 7.2MW each, thereby increasing the capacity from 0.75MW to 14.8MW. It will also include the construction of a switch yard, power house and staff houses.

Set to cost an estimated US$50.4mn, the benefit of this project is that it will improve the voltage profile to improve the quality of supply to northern parts of the country, as well as boost tourism and other economic sectors. This project has been scheduled to be completed by September 2014.

Zesco development projectsVarious constructions projects underway hope to eliminated continuous blackouts that affect Zambia. (Image source: ZESCO)Shiwang’andu Mini Hydropower Project

The estimated cost of this project is US$4.1mn and involves the construction of 1MW mini hydropower station with associated water ways. The power station is complete and is scheduled for commissioning in December 2012. This project will positively impact on the economic development of Shiwang’andu and surrounding areas in Chinsali District of Muchinga Province.

Lusiwasi Lower

The estimated cost of this project is US$159.2mn. The scope of this project will include the construction of a new 84.4MW power plant and the refurbishment of reservoirs and water ways to serve the new higher capacity. The existing power plant of 12MW will be decommissioned with the project coming on stream in 2016.

Rehabilitation and Upgrading of Chishimba Falls Power Station

The value of this project is estimated at US$45.6mn. The scope of this project includes rehabilitating and extending of the existing plant from 6MW to 14.8MW by installing two new machines of 5MW each, with completion scheduled for completion by 2014.

Rehabilitation and Upgrading of Musonda Falls Power Station

The estimated cost of this project is 349.4mn. The scope of this project includes rehabilitating and upgrading of the existing plant from 5MW to 10MW by installing a new machine of 4.2MW in addition to the 5.8MW uprated machines. The project is scheduled for completion by 2014.

Development of Batoka Gorge Power Station

This project is estimated to cost more than US$3.8bn. This will be a joint-venture project between Zambia and Zimbabwe. The scope of work would include developing a 1,600MW power station and a dam to be shared by the two countries. Each side would generate 800MW of power.

Major Transmission projects in progress include the Pensulo-Kasama 330kV; Pensulo- Msoro-Chipata 330Kv; Kariba North Bank Power Extension Evacuation; Connection of Luangwa to the National Grid; Kafue-Muzuma-Livingstone 220kV; and the ZIZABONA Interconnector.

The Kariba North Bank Power Extension Evacuation Project is estimated at US$4.1bn. The scope includes construction of 135km 330kV transmission line from Kariba North Bank Power Station to Kafue West Substation. The benefits of this project include evacuation of power from Kariba North Bank Extension Power Station. It is scheduled for completion in 2013.

Of international importance is the ZIZABONA Interconnector Project which is estimated at US$22.3bn. The scope of this project includes construction of a new interconnector between Zimbabwe, Zambia, Botswana and Namibia and is sponsored by the national utilities of these countries. It will facilitate increased regional power trade and evacuation of power from Zambia’s new generation projects to the Southern Africa Power Pool (SAPP). It will be wrapped up in 2015.

Phase Two Fibrecom Project

The second phase of the Fibre Communications network costing US$55mn has also been completed after ZESCO contracted ZTE Corporation of China to connect the Western, Luapula, Northern and Eastern provincial centres to the optic cable.

The power utility company indicated that this development has added value to ZESCO’s service delivery and has provided broadband communications for use by the business community including banks, schools, government institutions and the general public.

The network is expected to transmit high-speed telecommunications traffic to and from neighbouring countries including Tanzania, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Malawi and Mozambique.

Nawa Mutumweno

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