8 January 2013

Zambia: ZESCO to Up Power Generation

ZESCO is to increase its generation capacity to 2,310 megawatts (MW) by 2014 when the Kariba North Bank Extension, Ndola Energy and other power projects come on stream.

Managing director Cyprian Chitundu said in Lusaka that the Ndola Energy projectexpected to come on stream in April this year, would add 50 MW to the Zesco network as well as, Kariba North Bank Extension.

The first generator at Kariba was likely to be installed in November 2013 to add 180 MW to the national grid.

Next year in January another 300 MW would be added to the Zesco network bringing the installed capacity to 2,310 mw by 2014.

Mr Chitundu said to address the challenges facing the power system, Zesco would implement short and long term measures such as the reinforcement of the Lusaka 132KV ring which was planned for June 2013.

He said the firm would install a second 125 MVA 330/132KV transformer at Lusaka west in the first quarter of this year.

"We will distribute the expansion and reinforcement in Lusaka, Kitwe, Chingola and Mufulira which will be done in the first quarter of this year. The upgrade of Mazabuka substation will be in the first quarter of 2013," Mr Chitundu said.

The company also intend to upgrade the Lusaka road substation in Livingstone in December 2013.

On the tariffs, Mr Chitundu said for the last two years Zesco had not been given a tariff adjustment but said they were in discussion with the Government on the matter.

"We have not been awarded the tariff increase by the Energy Regulation Board, we will have a public discussion before we increase the tariff we will talk to Government and have public discussions on the adjustments," he said.

Mr Chitundu said adequate revenue will enable Zesco to mitigate annual rise in operational costs caused by inflation, exchange rate fluctuations and commodity price changes, investment in new generation, transmission and distribution will meet continued increase in demand for electricity.

Mr Chitundu said investments in new electricity infrastructure would create new jobs and opportunities.

He said the tariff adjustment increase in national access to electricity and expand customer base and meet key performance indicators in metering, quality of supply, new connections and loss reduction.

Mr Chitundu noted that delayed tariff adjustments will lead to greater tariff increases in future, thereby affecting the quality of supply of electricity.

Last month, Zesco commissioned generator number four at Kariba North Bank, which marked the completion of the rehabilitation and up-rating works on

machines at the power station bringing the station installed capacity to 720MW.

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