HomeBase MetalsZambian mines must cut power use

Zambian mines must cut power use

Power “’ a shortage
in Zambia today
Lusaka, Zambia — MININGREVIEW.COM — 07 August 2009 – The Zambian power utility Zesco has asked the country’s mining companies “’ the largest consumers of electricity “’ to cut output while it conducts a series of tests on a recently rehabilitated power plant.
Zesco Limited director for generation and transmission Christopher Nthala told Reuters that one machine at the 990 megawatt Kafue Gorge “’ which supplies most of the power to the country’s mining industry “’ would be closed down for checks for 24 hours ending tonight.

Nthala said this meant the power station’s output would be reduced by 330 megawatts. Zesco would decrease national power output to about 1 300 megawatts from the current installed capacity of 1 630 megawatts.

“Taking into consideration our maximum load demand of 1 500 megawatts, we are going to have a shortfall of 200 megawatts which will result in increased load-shedding,” Nthala added. “We have written to our large customers like the mines and industries to help us during this period by using power efficiently.”

Nthala said Zambia might have to import power from South Africa to plug the deficit. “If you look at 200 megawatts, that is a lot of power, and only South Africa can provide us with that quantity,” he explained.

CEO Neil Croucher of the Copperbelt Energy Corporation (CEC) “’ which buys power from Zesco and supplies it to most of the mines “’ said the company had asked them to cut consumption from last night.

“We have told the mines to cut back on the use of power in a way that will have minimum impact on production,” he told Reuters.