Zambia begins importing electricity Ressano Garcia

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.

 Analyst Greg Mills, writing in the online newspaper the “Daily Maverick”, blamed Zesco and its Zimbabwean counterpart for continually using more water from the dam than planned. He pointed out that “it seems that Zesco has been operating the intended peaking units much more than the planned three to four hours a day. This means they’ve needed to use more water, resulting in low reservoir 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.

COMMENTS

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    grabmore 5 years ago

    148MW coming from a ship moored in Beira. Why do these African Governments tell such whoppers?

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    They have learnt the art of lying from uncle Bob and his professors in Zimbabwe. A peaking plant being run continuously?? I bet Zambia is following it’s southern heighbour in mot being able to plan ahead. Well done Mozambique at leat you are doing something positive