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Friday, 14 March 2008

ZESCO maths...

Monica Chisela (Zesco Limited’s PR Manager) provides some figures to ease our understanding of Zambia's energy problems:

“The installed capacity of the Zambian electricity grid is 1,600 Mega Watts, of which 450 Mega Watts has been taken out for rehabilitation and up rating. Two machines from Kafue Gorge, each with a capacity of 150 Mega Watts and one machine from Kariba North Bank Power Station with a capacity of 150 Mega Watts, giving a total machine outage of 450 MW....The current maximum demand is estimated to be 1,300 MW and it is anticipated to reach 2500MW in the next five years. We also need to keep a reserve of 150 MW as a safety measure to prevent total black out in the event of system disturbance. During the evening peak, 300 MW has to be shed off in order to save the machines from total collapse should the demand exceed available supply".
So whats the position on the 450 Mega Watts that 'has been taken out for rehabilitationa and up rating'? Well, that requires more maths from Christopher Nthala (ZESCO Director of Transmission and Generation):
"By June this year, we are going to bring on stream two generating sets number six and seven at Kafue Gorge with additional generating capacity of 330 Mega Watts. This will result in restoration of full capacity of the power station but this will only last for about two days because later, we will remove generator number two which will knock out 150 Mega Watts from the system. And later we will remove another 150 Mega Watts generator set for about two months. So as we will restore 330 Mega Watts in June, we will take out another 330 Mega Watts, so the full capacity of gthe plant will be restored after December".
Not sure why the 30 Mega Watts is being lost in the ZESCO narrative, but hopefully you now have some confidence that ZESCO has a plan!

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