Zesco managing director Victor Mundende says the rehabilitation of Chishimba falls power station to cost $46 million will help meet demand for electricity in the country.
Speaking at the signing ceremony for the supplemental financing and project agreement for the Chishimba Falls rehabilitation and up-rating project by the German and Zambian governments, Mundende said the project is likely to increase Zesco’s average annual electricity production by over 60,000 mega watts per hour (MWH) of electricity supply into the national grid by the end of 2021.
“The Chishimba falls hydro-power station was commissioned in 1959 with an installed capacity of 0.9MW, that was later expanded to six mega watts in 1971. The Chishimba Falls scheme was originally conceived as part of Zambia Rural Electrification Program to provide power to the town of Kasama and other small settlements in the area. To support the growth in settlement and commerce in and around Kasama, Zesco Limited extended its 330Kv transmission network from Pensulo substation, in Serenje district, to Kasama in 2016. This extension led to a marked improvement in the quality and stability of electricity supplies in this part of the country,” Mundende said.
“In its quest to encourage greater exploitation of renewable energy sources and diversification within the electricity sub-sector the government of Zambia commissioned the ‘rehabilitation and up-rating of existing small hydro-power stations program’, in 2011 that targeted the maximization of energy production potential at four existing small hydro-power stations in Northern Zambia by increasing the installed generation capacity from 24.8MW to over 140MW, Lunzua (from 0.75MW to 14.8 MW), Musonda Falls (from 5MW to 10 MW), Lusiwasi (construction of two new schemes, i.e. one 15MW upper scheme and another 86 mw lower scheme to replace the existing 12 mw power station), and Chishimba falls (from 6MW to 15MW).”
He said the agreement that will be signed will see the realization of the rehabilitation and up-rating of the Chishimba Falls’ 15MW power station.
“It is my management’s sincere hope that once this and all other projects that Zesco is currently undertaking are completed, this will effectively contribute to meeting the demand for reliable electricity in the country and firmly set the corporation to achieve its vision of being the hub of electricity trading within the region by 2025,” said Mundende.