Zambian Electricity Supply CompanyFrom :  The Times.co.zm
By : Times Reporter
14 February 2012

ZESCO will today shut down a generator at Kariba North Bank power station, which will lead to a deficit of 165 mega watts as the power utility carries out maintenance works for 14 days.

Zesco director for corporate affairs and business development Bestty Phiri said in a statement yesterday that during the outage, 165 mega watts would not be available to the national grid resulting in a deficit during the period.

He said the power deficit would necessitate load-shedding in order for the company to balance the generation capacity with demand.

Giving a February power system status update, Mr Phiri said Zesco was constrained because power demand had outstripped available capacity.

He said the newly introduced monthly power system updates would mainly relay information relating to the available power generation capacity at the major power stations and the major transmission lines.

“The publication of this information is aimed at assisting customers to effectively plan their power usage and where possible work with Zesco to collectively manage available power,” he said.

Mr Phiri said on January 4, Zesco commenced corrective maintenance works on the 66 KV Sesheke-Mongu transmission line that supplies power to most parts of Western Province.

Similar works were done on the 66 KV Mpika-Kasama transmission line that supplies power to most parts of Luapula and Northern provinces in order to improve security of power supply to the two areas.

He said works were going on smoothly and power was being switched off on selected days as agreed with customers and stakeholders in the respective areas.

Zesco, he said, had identified demand side management as an immediate and cost-effective way of managing the available power which led to reduced load-shedding.

Mr Phiri said Zesco was distributing one million energy saver lamps at no cost to customers and had introduced ‘Time of Use Tariff’ in an effort to save 60 Mega Watts.

As a member of the Southern African Power Pool (SAPP) Zesco was able to engage in power trade and import when faced with a power deficit but that was subject to availability as most countries in the region were faced with a power deficit.

As at February the Victoria Falls power station had an installed capacity of 108 mega watts although generation was at 100 mega watts, Kariba North Bank has 520 mega watts as available capacity despite having an installed capacity of 720 mega watts.

Kafue Gorge produces 965 mega watts while Lusiwasi is at five mega watts making a total of 1,590 mega watts available capacity instead of the required capacity of 1,830 mega watts.