The Itezhi Tezhi hydropower project on the Kafue River in Itezhi Tezhi district in Central Province has started generating power after a successful trial production which began in November, 2015.
Newly appointed Itezhi Tezhi District Commissioner, Hendrix Kaimana, has confirmed to ZANIS after touring the state-of-the-art U$ 156 million facility in Itezhi Tezhi.
The project is developed by Itezhi Tezhi Power Corporation (ITPC), a 50-50 joint venture between ZESCO and TATA which started construction in 2012.
The power station comprises of two Kaplan turbines rated 60 MW each coupled with synchronous generator with a generation voltage of 11KV.
“The units are ready for commissioning by the end of this month,” Mr Kaimana said.
“As we are speaking now Unit One is already generating 30MW which is being transmitted to Lusaka via the newly-constructed 220KV/330 KV transmission line of about 280 km from Itezhi-Tezhi to Lusaka with a substation at Mumbwa.
Mr Kaimana expressed satisfaction at the workmanship and assured that Itezhi Tezhi will no longer be subjected to load shedding.
He thanked President Edgar Lungu for his commitment to ensuring that all major power projects are completed to reduce power outages.
And Engineer, Maliwa Mukelabai, told the District Commissioner that currently the company is only able to generate 30MW due to low water levels.
“Currently we are only generating 30MW from one unit which is 50 per cent. This is due to low water levels. When we have normal water levels we will be able to generate at full capacity of 60MW for each unit,” Mr Mukelabi said.
He informed the DC that Unit Two has been undergoing tests but that it will also be ready for commissioning by the end of this month.
Mr Mukelabai, who is a mechanical engineer, also told said the firm is working on a substation that will be supplying power to the district.
“Itezhi Tezhi district will be given 10MVA which is a major improvement from only 1.5 MVA which comes from Choma.
The plant, one among the major hydropower projects in the country, will raise its capacity to 120MW when water levels improve.