Zambia acts on power deficit

Power Transmission23 October 2013, Lusaka – Electricity is vital to the advancement of any economy as power is a big component of the total cost of doing business or total production cost.

Zambia has seen a rise in the demand for power as a result of major household expansion as well as industrial entities in the past 20 years mostly caused by the rural-urban drift and industrialisation.

All these changes have not moved at the same pace with power plant expansion despite the country having potential for both hydro and thermal power.

This has resulted in power outages due to the deficit in the power supply.

From 2008 to date, however, the Government has shown commitment towards ensuring that power deficits are reduced considerably.

So far, the power utility firm, Zesco has embarked on many power projects while a few private sector members have also joined in with initiatives which are aimed at offsetting the shortfall.

Recently Zesco randomly selected about 10 customers to tour the Kafue Gorge power plant for them to appreciate the challenges and developments taking place at the power plant.

In his presentation, Kafue Gorge Power Plant acting chief engineer Mulobela Shakapanga stated that Zesco recently mobilised a total of US$210 million which has been used to carry out transformer

replacement and rehabilitation of transmission system as well as selected distribution components at Kafue Gorge.

“Major projects that have been carried out at the plant include installing enhanced fire protection, re-routing of power cables from the vertical cable shaft to access and the rehabilitation and replacement of equipment.

“It involves rock bolting of earth mass to competent rock, harvesting weeds using the recently acquired Trash Rake Cleaning Machine (TRCM) and slope stabilisation and enhanced drainage,” he stated.

The development has enabled Zesco to up-rate power by 90 megawatts (MW) bringing the total power production to 990 MW at the plant, thereby significantly reducing power load-shedding in the country.

– Kennedy Mupeseni, Times of Zambia

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