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Zambia to increase power supply

Zambia’s power
shortage eases
Lusaka, Zambia — MININGREVIEW.COM — 10 April 2008 – In a development which should ease increasing demands for power in Zambia, power utility ZESCO expects to increase generation by 660 megawatts by early 2009 to meet requirements from copper mining and domestic consumption.

“Zesco is in advanced stages of completing a power rehabilitation project which will bring back 450 megawatts early 2009,” customer services manager Teddie Mwale told a news conference here. “This will also bring in an extra 210 megawatts from upgraded machines.”
Three hundred of those megawatts will be available in December, ZESCO public relations manager Monica Chisela told Reuters. “ZESCO’s generation capacity is 1 640 MW, of which only 1 190 MW is currently generated to meet peak national demand of 1 400 MW,” she said.

The deficit, reports Reuters, has forced ZESCO to ration power to Zambia’s copper mining industry – its economic lifeblood – and other manufacturing industries and households.

ZESCO Ltd. is also finalising the development of the Itezhi-Tezhi power station, which will generate 120 MW. “The extension of the main Kariba North Bank power station will generate an another 360 megawatts,” Mwale added.

He pointed out that increased power capacity would enable ZESCO to meet growing demand from the copper mines to support new projects like the Lumwana copper mine, where more than 160 000 tpa of copper is expected to be produced from 2009. “We will have enough power to provide for all the mines like Lumwana when our other units come on stream," Mwale concluded.