Zambia looking for more power

By 2008, Zambia’s power deficit is expected to be 150MW to 200MW, Minister Mutati was quoted as say-ing. He said that to deal with this deficit the gov-ernment hopes to fin-ish the power rehabilita-tion project by mid-2008. Importing power will not be a bet-ter option since South Africa, the main source of power in the Southern African region, will have the biggest deficit. The identified three sites for hydropower development are Itezhi Tezhi, Kafue Gorge Lower and expan-sion of Kariba North Bank. The min-ister said Zambia will hold a meeting with the World Bank and other finan-ciers this month to work out practical financial instru-ments. Zimbabwe too is looking at extensions to the existing Kariba power complex, at its station on the south bank. Neither station will be able to add to the base load of the two countries, since almost all water flowing into Kariba is already used by the pwoer stations. Floodgates are rarely opened. However the two extensions will give both countries flexibility, allowing them to boost output at peak times and then shut down generators to conserve water at quiet times. Both countries, and especially Zimbabwe, will need in addition to the Kariba extensions, which are the cheapest options available, an additional scheme that will add to the total energy generated. This is why Zambia is looking at Kafue in particular, resusing the water that has already flowed through the generators at its existing instalation, and why Zimbabwe wants to extend its thermal station at Hwange. Such extensions to existing schemes are usually far cheaper than new projects. ‘ Xhinua, Southern Times Writer.

May 2006
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