Power utility ZESCO says the national grid will be boosted by the injection of about 270 MW of power from Maamba coal fired power plant starting mid-November 2016.
ZESCO Senior Manager Marketing and Public Relations Bessie Banda said this will result in a remarkable reduction in the national power deficit and subsequently in the extended load shedding that has been experienced in the last few weeks in some parts of the country.
Ms. Banda said Maamba Collieries Limited has constructed a 300 MW mine mouth coal fired power plant in Sinazongwe District of Southern Province.
She said two generators of 150 MW output have been installed at the power station. When fully commissioned, the power plant will produce 300 MW out of which 270 MW will be injected into the Zambian electricity grid.
Ms. Banda said the other 30 MW will be utilised at the Maamba plant adding that the first generator at Maamba was commissioned on 24 July 2016 while the second generator is ready and being prepared for synchronization to the national grid.
“Since commissioning, the first generator at Maamba has produced and dispatched about 65,346MWh into the Zambian power grid and ZESCO has been buying this power. However, on 9 October, the Southern part of the Zambian grid that is connected to Maamba power station was separated from the rest of the national grid to enable completion of the transmission line upgrade works between Muzuma and Kafue Town,” Ms Banda said.
“Consequently, power from Maamba became unavailable to the national grid thereby temporarily aggravating the power deficit the country is facing. Maamba is currently only supplying parts of Southern and Western Provinces.”
Ms. Banda said the line upgrade works have been undertaken in order to increase the transmission capacity from Muzuma in readiness for evacuation of the 270 MW from Maamba as well as the additional power to be generated under Maamba Phase II.
“The transmission line upgrade works between Muzuma and Kafue Town will be completed by 11 November, 2016 when the line will be restored to service. It is expected that the current load shedding will be reduced once these works are completed.”