Zesco to Reconnect Power Line to Zim
May 12, 2008 - The Times of Zambia - All
Africa Global Media
ZESCO will connect the 330 kilovolts inter-connectivity
power line from Kariba Power Station to Zimbabwe
as a way to ensure reliability.
Kariba North Bank technical manager, Wesley
Lwiindi said Zesco would not switch on the high
voltage power line connecting the two countries
because it wanted to find a lasting technical
solution to avoid Zambia experiencing another
blackout like was the case in January this year.
He told a delegation of officials from Zesco
and the Ministry of Energy touring rehabilitation
works at Kariba North Bank Power Station and
Kafue Gorge that Zesco was, however, holding
consultations with the Zimbabwean power supply
company over the matter.
The delegation, which is on a two-day tour,
is being led by secretary to the treasury, Evans
Chibiliti, who is accompanied by Energy Permanent
Secretary, Peter Mumba and other senior Government
Mr Lwiindi said the inter-power connectivity
cable between Zimbabwe and Zambia would remain
switched off until Zesco was sure of its reliability.
"We are holding discussions with officials
from the power company in Zimbabwe. We are actually
also waiting for a report from these officials
for us to determine how safe it is to reconnect
this power line," he said.
Mr Lwiindi said the rehabilitation works would
be completed before the end of this year.
He said the major challenge the plant faced
was long tendering procedures, increased project
costs, difficulties in raising funds and increased
periods to implement the projects.
He said once the machines were rehabilitated,
it would give the Zesco generators an extended
life-span, smooth and reliability as well as
more uprating to the convenience of the customers.
Mr Lwiindi commended the Government for the
support the plant was receiving.
And Zesco finance director, Moses Zulu said
once the power rehabilitation project (PRP)
was completed, Zesco would increase its revenue
by more than 30 per cent.
He said Zesco was owed about K300 billionby
various customers, mostly domestic consumers.
Rehabilitation works of the Kariba North Bank
and Kafue Gorge power stations would increase
their generating capacity to 120 and 90 megawatts,
And Mr Chibiliti expressed happiness at the
manner Government, Zesco and cooperating partners
were intervening to resolve the power deficit
Zambia and other SADC countries were facing.
Mr Chibiliti said the Government would continue
to support the rehabilitation works embarked
on by Zesco.
"The single largest threat we are currently
facing in our development is this power deficit.
This is a matter of urgency.
"A solution has to be found and found now.
I am impressed with the works being done and
I can assure you that the Government will support
you at every point," he said.
He said Zambia could not allow the current
power deficit to disrupt its chance of developing
in view of increased investments in various
sectors of the economy.