via Zambia begins importing electricity Ressano Garcia – The Zimbabwean 11 September 2015
Zambia’s power company Zesco on Wednesday began importing 148 megawatts of electricity from a gas fired generator based in Ressano Garcia in southern Mozambique.
The gas is extracted from the Pande and Temane fields in Inhambane province and piped to the Mozambique – South Africa border where the British based company Aggreko has its generator. The electricity is then transmitted to Zambia along the existing transmission lines of the Southern African Power Pool (SAPP).
Zambia’s decision to import the electricity is a reaction to a severe power shortage. This is not only affecting citizens, but is also hitting the key mining sector. The economy is already in serious crisis as the price of copper, the metal that contributes nine per cent to the country’s Gross Domestic Product, has dropped to a six year low.
However, the situation has deteriorated even further due to a severe power shortage. In large part this is due to drought starving the Kariba dam on the border with Zimbabwe. The shortage of water at Kariba has forced Zesco to cut output from its hydroelectric power station from 500 to 305 megawatts. There are fears that unless the mining companies drastically cut back their power consumption the turbines will have to be switched off in November if the dam falls to minimum level.
His analysis is that at current operating levels, the Kariba dam could continue operating until the end of the year when it is hoped that rains will replenish the reservoir.
Strangely enough, the Zambian government claimed that the power Zesco is importing comes from an Aggreko ship moored at Beira.
This was the story given to the Zambian media on Tuesday by Chief government Spokesperson Vincent Mwale, after a Cabinet meeting. However, when AIM contacted Aggreko the company confirmed that the power comes, not from Beira but from Ressano Garcia.