Zambia, Africa’s largest copper producer by output seeks to upgrade its energy infrastructure to ensure it meets the increasing demand for electricity chiefly from the mines.

Presently, the Zambian government has realized the essence of upgrading its power capacity and seeks to secure adequate fundings from the cooperating partners and through public private partnership to ensure the power demand is sustained as the country seek to grow its economy by an average eight percent per annum.

Against this background the government has directed the Zambia Electricity Supply Corporation (Zesco) to increase capacity of its power generation at various power plants including Kariba North Bank, near the border with Zimbabwe.

Mr Chris Yaluma energy minister of Zambia on November 21st 2011 directed the power company to ensure that Sino Hydro Power Company, a Chinese company contracted to upgrade the Kariba North Bank Extension Project, speeds up its work to boost electricity supply in the country. Sino Hydro Power Company was also engaged to upgrade Kafue Gorge lower Power Station.

Mr Yaluma noted that upgrading of Kariba North Bank Extension Project was important in increasing the national power base and that Zesco should play a vital role to closely monitor the construction project. Government was concerned about challenges of increased load shedding but was confident that once the upgrading of the power station was completed, the situation would change.

During a recent tour of Kariba North Bank power plant in Siavonga and Kafue Gorge Power Station said that it was important that Zambia’s power generation capacity was raised to meet local and export demands as the industrial base increases with need for more power supply. Zambia’s economy was growing fast because of increased investments in the various sectors and that more investors could only come if power supply was able to meet higher demands.

He noted that such projects were a vital cog to the economy and the government would ensure that they were successfully upgraded to help minimize power outages. Government was aware that the completion schedule of Kariba North Bank Extension Project delayed by a year because of financial constraints.

During the tour, Mr Yaluma directed Zesco management to find an efficient mechanism of employing casual workers on substantive basis if they had credible qualifications. Kariba North Bank Extension Project has about 29 casual workers and 110 on permanent basis. He further directed contractors Sino Hydro Power Company and Zesco to prioritize the safety of employees.

Mr Cyprian Chitundu MD of Zesco expressed confidence that the power utility company would live to its expectations of providing reliable power to both the mines, local and export consumers.

According to Chitundu Kariba North Bank, which has a production capacity of 540 MW would be one of the premier power stations once rehabilitation works were completed. The power plant upon upgrading, power production capacity would increase to 720 MW.

Mr Wesley Lwiindi project director of Kariba North Bank Extension Project revealed that a new substation was also under construction in Siavonga at a value of USD 420 million intended to supply power to the local people locals and is expected to be finalized and commissioned next year.

Mr Fidelis Mubiana manager of Kafue Gorge Power Station revealed that upgrading of the station was done through the Power Rehabilitation Project. It was mainly focused on refurbishment, replacement and uprating of existing generators and transmission infrastructure. Zesco had bought machinery at a cost of about USD 3 million that would used to remove weeds from Kafue River.

Mr Mubiana revealed that the company had also bought water cameras intended to among other things monitor weeds that are a menace to the operations of power plants as they choke machinery resulting in reduced power generation capacity.

Last year Zambia sought USD 1.5 billion to upgrade all its power plants in the country to meet the increased power demand especially the mines that consume 40% of the total 1,400 MW generated per day. Power consumption in Zambia rises to 1,800 MW at peak hours which is insufficient to meet the demands of the mining companies that consume an average 540 MW daily to mine and produce copper and other base metals.

[SteelGuru]

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11 COMMENTS

  1. Now this is what i call propaganda. This project was started by CHiluba when Robinson Mwansa was Managing Director, Sisala then Started the implementation when Chitundu the current managing director was chief engineer. The project is now nearing completion posibly by end of next year thats when lusaka times and the Sata regime wants to prepare peoples minds to get the credit during commissioning next year.

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  2. Personally l woudnt mind to know who started this project pf or mmd..but see the solution to this problem of loadshedding come to an end..

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  3. This is the problem in poor countries like Zambia, ZESCO has Engineers (Black pipo) if i may ask can they upgrade the infrastructure by themselves without involving foreign contractors? Can such a project be inhouse funded without asking for money from Colonial masters? The answer too all this is no, why all Engineers is just boasting na njala, no knowledge , they only know how to maintain the plant, put oil in generators etc on funding its impossible for zesco alone to manage cos. africans put their interest first above national development.

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  4. WHETHER started by unip or federal gov i dont care so long load shedding comes to an end. Of course we have a goverment in place to commission which is a very simple task.

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  5. This is the problem in poor countries like Zambia, ZESCO has Engineers (Black pipo) if i may ask can they upgrade the infrastructure by themselves without involving foreign contractors? ………………..why all Engineers is just boasting na njala, no knowledge , they only know how to maintain the plant, put oil in generators etc on funding its impossible for zesco alone to manage cos. africans put their interest first above national development.
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    Sanchez, while engineers such as the ones you have described globally exist, i dissagree with your opinion, i have respect for zambian engineers.

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  6. # 3: Sanchez: you may not even know the definition of the word “Engineer” or “Engineering”. Unfortunately there are many people in Zambia who have no trust in the Zambian Engineers and their capability. For your own information; there are many aspects of engineering that KK developed. They have been very useful to economies around the world except Zambia where they are seriously undervalued. You want a China man to do your projects, fine with us; we will continue working where we are appreciated. Even Jesus was scoffed at; they said, mmmm this guy, a carpenter’s son to be God’s son? No ways. So bwana Sanchez even to ma PPP you are doing have been done before by Zambian professionals around the World. Out of naivitee bwana you may say what you have said. Enjoy 3rd world infrastructure

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  7. @sanchez and ZED ENG. I am sure you have never been ant where near a Power Station, let alone a Sub-Station in Zambia. For if you had, you would appreciate the work the Indigenous Zambian Electrical, Civil and Mechanical Engineers are doing. Not to mention the Technologists and Crft Technicians whose output is immense. It is easy to belittle people when you are just an end user of a product without appreciating the efforts applied in bringing light and power to your Zone. At a request, Zesco does facilitate visits to Power Stations and it was only after I made such a visit that I came to appreciate what it takes. Refrain from looking down on the capabilities of our
    people.

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  8. #6 Jesus spoke these words to show that those who had only recently heard believed, while those who knew him since he was a child did not. Unless we change our mind set we shall never believe in our own well trained staff. The same goes to medical doctors and let me say other proffessions. Today politician travel to Morningside clinic in SA only to be treated by Zambian Doctors who migrated during the Chiluba error. I believe after 47 years after independence we can have confidence in our own home grown professionals. Sachez, only zambians will develop zambia. as long as we depend on foreign knowledge and finances we shall always be beggars.

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  9. Up grade is a floated tender which can not be done inhouse because of short of manpower; Design, procurement, planning, etimates, then construction- civil, mechanic, electrical and instrumentation. USD$1.2billion is not easy to despose off. It requires independent workers and time frame of 3 years where you cannot divert the crew from daily demands. Even USA use contractors on such projects. The Contractors we have are not empowered. Fukushima plant was done by very intelligent and experienced technocrats but the accident reviewed some lapses. In Zambia, it’s like of trust in engineers-poor mindset and colour coding.

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