Kariba South power station expansion “ill-advised”

via Kariba South power station expansion “ill-advised” | The Zimbabwean 13 August 2014 by Kenneth Matimaire

The expansion of Kariba South power station has been slammed as ill-advised after it emerged that just 40 megawatts of the hoped-for 300 megawatts would be realised.

Director of Energy and Information Logistics Francis Masawi said the greater percentage of the expected power generation would be lost during transmission onto the national grid. He added that the $350m cost of the plant should have been directed to fund more productive projects.

Masawi said the plant would only operate 30 per cent of the time, as there wasn’t adequate energy on the side of the lake, leading to a decline in power output to 90 megawatts. Forty per cent of that would then be lost.

Chinese firm Sino Hydro won the contract to expand the country’s second largest power station, and work is reported to have started early last month, after China Export-Import Bank assured the release of funds.

Starting the project was subject to the government clearing its $27m debt with the bank.

Under the agreement, the contractor designs the plant, buys the necessary materials and builds the project, either directly or by sub-contracting some of the work.

The expansion project will take about four years to complete and was supposed to significantly narrow the gap between electricity supply and demand.

COMMENTS

WORDPRESS: 10
  • comment-avatar

    How is it possible for 270MW of power generated by the project be lost in transmission? Transmission to where? What is stated in this analysis has to be backed by proper assessments of power possibilities on Lake Kariba. When the lake is full, more power is possible because water from the lake is what is used to run turbines which are/ or will be stationed below the lake.How did Zambia, on the north side manage to increase power output using the same lake? We need to know the truth about Kariba South station.

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    jkaseke 7 years ago

    The writer of this article should read a bit of Physics before publishing his article. He must tell us how 90% of the generated power will be lost during transmission. I think engineers at ZESA can work around that problem.

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      Markton 7 years ago

      Be careful before you talk. This guy is one the best electrical engineers in the country and former transmission director in ZESA. He was not educated in Eastern Europe or by correspondence. He is quite smart. He knows what he is talking about and it needs some bit of engineering depth.

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    Tjingababili 7 years ago

    2 MILLION JOBS YOU PROMISED US YOU JOKERS!

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    Mixed Race 7 years ago

    What a mess we have in our power generation work force.Surely, to transport 50 or 60 hz frequency signal at high voltage should give minimum loss unless the transmission lines are partially touching the ground to cause serious sparks due to short circuits to the ground.Please check your facts before going to the press with your best engineers or just keep quiet.Low frequencies are not easily affected by capacitance to the ground,therefore leakage to the ground is negligible unless the lines are completely broken.These transmission lines are of high gauge ,therefore inductance is very low to cause any loss to talk about.
    This is a poorly planned project with funds already diverted to some people’s pockets,now they have to find silly excuses for not meeting their original project results.The minister of energy should step in and stop this useless project and ask the project managers to account for the funds spent so far and the remaining funds to be channeled to more viable projects.

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      Markton 7 years ago

      Its not all about the shallowness you are displaying mate. The water head as studied in the past years and the rainfall patterns in countries on the Zambezi catchment areas and the power transfer capabilities of K1, K2 and K3 330 kv feeders and the Alaska to Sherwood link comes into effect.

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    Mixed Race 7 years ago

    @Markton-if this information is already available -Why was the project even tabled in the first place?Our experts should have advised the government not to waste time and money on a useless project.We should never take advice from foreigners alone because they do not have all our natural and geographical inputs.I agree that generation would be negligible due to availability of water pressure.Why plan for generation capacity increase without the proper transmission lines?When they did the Hwange thermal power station in the seventies they had to construct transmission lines from Hwange to Byo before commissioning the power station.Thus what they should have done to upgrade the lines to Sherwood my friend.Some of these things do not require high university qualifications to resolve but mere common sense and past experience.

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    Old Man River 7 years ago

    Never mind the engineers. Forget the physicists. Talk to the meteorologists about the one absolutely critical factor you cannot control: rainfall.

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    Mambo 7 years ago

    i agree with limitations on Lake side of things to a certain extent that we dont have the water to run 6 turbines on zambian side and 8 turbines on Zim side full blast from Jan to Dec. the water simple gets finshed within few months. As of 40% of power generation being lost due ttransmission losses i will have to make further research why it is like that.
    i thot the idea was to use these new generators during peak times only and not as a source of continuos generation.
    lets us not forget that the provision for 2 extra Units on South Bank was done in 1957 as the tunnels are already in place and whats left is installation of the new power plant and divert the water in Lake to the new plant but it involves a lot civil enginering works on the intake side of Lake. I want to believe at that enough research was done.
    this project is only cheaper in terms of provision social services intrastructure like housing, schools clinics, shops etc compared to a brand new power station like batoka or sengwa

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    cfstoddart 6 years ago

    do not always be negative over colonialisme is bad how is china more efficent then the west even in australia it all china