Thursday, June 20, 2024

Power Exports in relation to Loadshedding

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By Amb. Emmanuel Mwamba

In the last ten years, Government made remarkable investment in the energy sector and increased the country’s generation capacity from 1,600 megawatts in 2011 to 3,456 megawatts in 2021. For the first time, and as a result of this, Zambia has dedicated surplus power as its peak demand is about 2,300 megawatts while its generation capacity is 3,456 megawatts.

New power stations were built and small ones were upgraded. For example Lunzuwa Power Station in Mpulungu was upgraded from 0.75 to 15 megawatts and Chishimba and Musonda Power Stations were also upgraded to 15 and 10 megawatts. Further almost the entire electricity infrastructure such as transmission, distribution lines and substations were upgraded.

ZESCO AND IPP GENERATION CAPACITY

Both ZESCO, in partnership or with Independent power producers are generating 3,456 megawatts. Below is the breakdown of power generation.
1. Kafue Gorge -990 megawatts.
2. Kariba North Bank- 720 megawatts.
3. Victoria Falls- 108 megawatts.
4. Small Hydros (Chishimba, Lunzuwa, Musonda, Chinsali,) -57.8 megawatts.

INDEPENDENT POWER PRODUCERS OR PARTNERSHIPS

1. Kafue North Bank Extension-360 megawatts.
2. Kafue Gorge Lower-600 megawatts (750 megawatts).
3. Maamba Collieries Ltd- 300 megawatts.
4. Ndola Energy Company- 105 megawatts.
5. Lunsemfwa Hydro Power Company-56 megawatts.
6. Itezhi-Itezhi Power Company -120 megawatts.
7. Ngonye and Bangweulu Solar Companies-76 megawatts

EXPORTS

ZESCO has bilateral and contractual obligations and is exporting electricity to;
1. DRC’s Société National d’Électricité (SNEL) 70 megawatts and ZESCO earned $70.94million in 2021.
2. Nampower, Namibia-180 megawatts( $50million-$500million a year for 10 years).
3. LV-20 megawatts.
4. Zimbabwe Power Corporation-100 megawatts ( five year deal).
5. Bostwana Power Corporation-80 megawatts.

Total Exports 440 megawatts.

More is also sold through the Southern Africa Power Pool (SAPP).

CHALLENGES

Because of low water levels in Kariba Lake, generation at the South Bank stations has dropped from 1,080 megawatts to about 660 megawatts.
Further IPP Power stations such as Ndola Energy (off because of lack of heavy fuels from INDENI) and Maamba Collieries (service and rehabilitation works) are down. Both Bangweulu and Ngonye Solar farms have lower production because of solar irradiation due to rainy cloud cover during this season.

WHAT NEEDS TO BE DONE

Despite the challenges seen above, Zambians may not be loadshedded. Loadshedding Zambians is but a mere choice. ZESCO may be encouraged to invoke clauses in their export contracts and agreements and restore them after March 2023.

And Government may need to know that as soon as INDENI was shut, it knocked out Ndola Energy Company which uses heavy fuels, and residues of INDENI production. Ndola Energy produces 105 megawatts from the national installed capacity .

The energy mix in solar and coal present the biggest opportunity for Zambia as long as ZESCO is not forced to enter into unfair Power Purchase Agreements that makes it subsidize Independent Power Producers (IPP) as is the case now, where-by ZESCO buys power expensively but sells it cheaply to consumers and the IPP mint millions of paper profits.

Zambia holds over 80 million coal reserves (270 years of use) and despite the green and climate change demands to shut “dirty energy” power stations, we can look at this potential for the energy security of the country.

10 COMMENTS

  1. There is nothing like dirty energy, let’s just know ways of using it. On the other hand, the people who are in charge of the loadshedding offered solutions in parliament in previous loadshedding, let them use those ideas now.

  2. Mr. Amb. Mwamba, you were in government twice, what did you do concerning ZESCO? The 360MW at Kariba Dam is peaking load, the waste ever planned plant. If this plant was not sited at Kariba, Zambia would have been in Good position today. Installation of solar panels for power systems was also the waste of resources. Zambian power systems is not designed to the lowest water level on record. That is what it needs to be done.

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    • These are just campaign articles. Where you see PF Presidential candidates wanting to hog any publicity they can get. The candidates pretend to be experts of all subjects under the sun but just want to keep in the limelight. Ignore them

  3. There’s also the 2 solar plants in the Lusaka South Economic Zone. The problem we face as a nation is that we rely on non-experts to make important decisions. It’s politicians and their appointees that order engineers at Zesco. They’re fired if they act professionally. We know what the problem is but politicians always have their agenda. So matter how much we advise things won’t change until politicians begin to listen to experts

    • When an “expert” relinquishes his/her expertise to laypeople (politicians), results can be catastrophic! Have you heard what happened to one Roman war Commander – Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus – & his error, in listening to laypeople’s incompetent advice? He lost the battle of Pharsalus to Caesar! Whatever consequences to self, experts, knowing everything they know on their subject, should refuse to bend to nonsense.

  4. Opposition with facts and solutions. This is impressive. Can someone from UPND answer with facts and not emotions also. To me this looks like UPND has just chosen to punish Zambians with this 12hr load shedding for no reason. Maybe its our 2023 new year present who knows?

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  5. So this moron still calls himself Ambassador……I have noticed that he is the only PF Bandit who still hallucinate about being an Ambassador…just drop that title iwe makaka…..it’s not an academic qualification it’s just a job title…..and now PF Bandits have the audacity to talk about loadsheding

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  6. PF also took us through this torturous load shedding, unfortunately PF seems to have come back in a different version – loadshedding is back, UPND cadres harassing an opposition leader at a radio station, a cadre flaunting his wife’s vehicle on social media (with PF it was hard cash which was being flaunted), God save us

  7. The best solution is to encourage domestic solar energy use………..

    To free demand for export and local businesse use…………..

    Every household must be encouraged to go solar………..

    this presents a hudge opportunity for a local solar manufacturing industry , providing export potential of products , encouraging innovation in solar power provision and providing much needed jobs……..

    Demand for solar products will drive battery and copper cable production……..

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