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Thursday, 5 June 2014

Zambia hopes to ease power pressure after 2014

While the demand for power by new mining projects and other activity in Zambia has put pressure on the country’s power generation capacity, the national utility Zesco believes the country could revert to being a regular electricity exporter in 2015.
“By next year we will have a lot of excess power and that should make us very comfortable even to export the surplus to neighbours in deficit,” Christopher Mubemba, acting chief operating officer at Zesco, says.
Zambia currently generates just over 2,200 MW while peak demand is estimated at 1,900 MW. The Kariba North Bank Extension power station is expected to add 360 MW, and the Maamba power plant 300 MW by the end of this year, while the 120 MW Itezhi Tezhi hydropower station should start production in 2015.
Zambia already supplies 50 to 100 MW to Botswana on an emergency basis but exports to the wider region will be ramped up. Zesco is also finalising the process of hiring a team to push ahead with the 750 MW Kafue Gorge Lower power station, which is expected to be completed in 2021, delayed from 2018, due to delays in securing financing.
By Kim Jansen