Tuesday, April 23, 2024

ZESCO power solutions: Government Actively Negotiating with Mozambique for Additional 120 Mega Watts of Power

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Zesco electricity crisis
Energy Minister Peter Kapala

ZESCO, Zambia’s power utility, is actively engaged in negotiations with Mozambique to secure an additional 120 Mega Watts of power for the nation, as disclosed by Energy Minister Peter Kapala during a recent parliamentary session addressing Zambia’s electricity deficit. As part of the strategy, ZESCO plans to gradually withdraw 120 Mega Watts from the export market, considering existing bilateral contracts, to bolster domestic supply amid the prevailing energy crisis.

In a bid to address the prevailing electricity deficit in Zambia, the government has initiated negotiations with Mozambique to secure an additional 120 Mega Watts of power for the nation. Energy Minister Peter Kapala disclosed this during a recent session in Parliament where he delivered a comprehensive statement on the country’s electricity situation.

According to Minister Kapala, Zambia’s power utility, ZESCO, intends to gradually withdraw 120 Mega Watts from the export market, factoring in existing bilateral contracts. This measure aims to augment the domestic supply amidst the ongoing energy crisis.

Furthermore, Minister Kapala highlighted ongoing negotiations between ZESCO and Ndola Energy Company Limited to recommence operations at a 105 Mega Watt power plant. These negotiations are anticipated to conclude by April 2024, with ZESCO expected to procure 105 Mega Watts from May to December 2024.

The Minister underscored the significance of strategic institutions in the electricity management framework, ensuring their uninterrupted operation during load shedding. Measures are being taken to exempt such institutions, including health facilities, water utilities, industries, mining firms, and security establishments, where dedicated power lines are available.

Addressing the immediate challenges, ZESCO has commenced load shedding to mitigate rapid reservoir depletion, potentially leading to extended power outages. However, this measure entails substantial monthly revenue losses estimated at USD 35 million.

In addition to short-term remedies, the government has outlined medium-term projects aimed at bolstering the country’s energy capacity. These include:

Short-Term Projects:

  • ZESCO is currently importing between 50MW to 90MW between 21 Hours and 05 Hours and is actively engaged in negotiations with Mozambique for an increase in firm power imports for an additional 120MW.
  • ZESCO plans to gradually withdraw 120MW from the export market taking into consideration the current bilateral contracts. This plan is scheduled to run from February 2024 to December 2024. However, it is worth noting that this plan will translate into a revenue loss of US Dollar 110 million.
  •  Ndola energy power plant has a capacity of 105MW. Currently, ZESCO and Ndola Energy Company Limited (NECL) are undertaking negotiations with a view to restarting the power plant. These negotiations are expected to be completed by April 2024 after which ZESCO will purchase 105 MW from May to December 2024.
  •  The government, through ZESCO, is developing a 100MW Solar PV power plant in Kabwe. The project is underway with a scheduled duration of 10 months, aiming for completion and commissioning by the end of the year.

MEDIUM TERM PROJECTS

Renewable Energy Expansion:

• 120 MW Solar PV Portfolio: Implementation of a 120 Mega Watt portfolio of solar PV power projects under the Global Energy Transfer Feed-in Tariff (GET-FiT) program.
• Luapula (CX) Hydropower Project: Progressing with the development of the 271-megawatt Luapula (CX) hydropower project on the Luapula River.
• Lusiwasi Lower Hydropower Project: Development of the 86 Mega Watt Lusiwasi Lower Hydropower Project.
• 2,000 MW Solar PV Project: ZESCO is collaborating with Masdar on a 2,000-megawatt solar PV project.

 

Highlighting the long-term vision, Minister Kapala emphasized the completion of the Integrated Resource Plan (IRP), designed to provide sustainable solutions for Zambia’s energy sector challenges. The IRP forecasts a significant increase in demand, necessitating substantial investments to meet future energy needs.

As part of a broader strategy, consumers are encouraged to embrace alternative energy sources and adopt energy-efficient equipment to alleviate pressure on the national grid. This shift towards sustainable practices is expected to contribute significantly to addressing Zambia’s energy deficit in the long run.

ZESCO Managing Director Victor Mapani announced earlier this month that that the company would commence 8-hour daily load shedding effective Monday, March 11, 2024. The decision followed a meticulous assessment of water levels in the Kafue and Zambezi basins.

Mr. Mapani explained that the implementation of load shedding become imperative due to the dwindling water levels, which directly affect power generation capacity. He noted that the anticipated loss for ZESCO due to load shedding would amount to approximately $35 million per month.

16 COMMENTS

  1. So its not Drought its actually exporting power thats causing Electricity deficit…..Chipante pante Government

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  2. Ndola Energy closed because HH thought it right to halt operations at Indeni. Ndola Energy used to use heavy diesel from Indeni that is no longer available. How are you going to restart operations? These small amounts of 50MW, 90MW, 120MW are just a drop in the ocean when you have a shortage of over 1200MW. Sorry, I forgot that HH ended load shedding one year in office so what are are we talking about here.

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    • Ndola HFO power plant generates power at cost close to 8 cents/kwh.
      But the electricity tariffs in Zambia are around 5 cents/kwh.
      The power plant will be operating at a loss if they supply power locally. Unless they restart the plant for exports.

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    • Zambia imported maize in order to export to Congo.
      We are now importing Electricity in order to continue exporting the same.
      We increased the price of diesel and petrol in order to reduce.
      The prices of commodities went up in order to reduce.
      Simply put, the cost of leaving in the country has to go up in order for it to come down.
      THIS IS FROM NALUMANGO SCHOOL OF ECONOMICS. Still looking for students to enrol!!!

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  3. This govt will engage everyone except Zambians, what a curse to have people like this who after you put them in power suddenly are very intelligent and they know everything, working alone.

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  4. Government also needs to build a coal power plant at Maamba to run side by side with the current one being run by Indians. Coal is a strategic resource and it was foolish in the first place to lose control of our coal reserves in Maamba. Since govt owns the coal, it will be easy to establish a stake for use. The Chinese can turn around the project within a year! Go to china and talk to them for a turn-key project. With coal you can ramp the output depending on the load which you can not do easily with renewables. We can easily increase the power output from there to 1 MW from the current 300 MW with the help of our Chinese friends.

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  5. We also need a pump station and pipeline to link the luapula river to the storage dams in central province:Mulungushi dam and Mita hills dam.
    This will improve the generation capacity of the already existing Lunsemfwa and Mulungushi power stations with a total installed capacity of 56 MW. The two power stations can be upgraded to 300MW.
    Ask India , they are pioneers of river linking projects

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  6. The disaster that was announced by the President is the legal document to use as we cut off power exports. But we have chosen to cut local consumption quickly as we drag our feet stopping exports. Buy Zambia, support Zambia. We want malaiti.

  7. UPND has been a total disaster thus far. It will take a few things falling into place for real change.

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  8. Is this not the same Kapala who assured the nation in February that there will be NO loadshedding whatsoever despite the low water levels? He is not to be trusted.

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  9. As unwelcome as it is to have my area load managed from a given time, please alternate the times. So monotonous to stick one given time. Let schedules run per week for one locating, shed a different time after seven days.
    Zesco, EMpowering The Nation.

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  10. Lunzuwa hydro power station in mbala the old one has been abandoned but it used to produce power. Can zesco work on it

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