Zesco managing director Victor Mundende says the rehabilitation of Chishimba Falls power station is expected to increase Zesco’s average annual electricity production by over 60,000 MW of electricity supply into the national grid by the end of 2021.
Speaking during 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 in Lusaka, Wednesday, Mundende said the $46 million project was expected contribute to meeting the demand for reliable electricity in the country.
“The signing ceremony we are witnessing today is a true testimony to the cordial relationship and cooperation that exists between the governments of the Federal Republic of Germany and the Republic of Zambia and, indeed, between its two peoples. The Chishimba Falls hydro-power station was commissioned in 1959 with an installed capacity of 0.9 MW, that was later expanded to 6 megawatts 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,” Mundende said.
Mundende said up-rating of the falls will increase Zesco’s annual production by over 60,000 MW by the end of 2021.
“The agreement that will be signed will see the realization of the last mentioned project under the program, that is, the rehabilitation and up-rating of the Chishimba falls 15 MW power station. The project is expected to take approximately 24 months to complete, at an estimated cost of $46 million. The up-rated Chishimba falls power station is expected to increase Zesco’s average annual electricity production by over 60,000 MW of electricity supply into the national grid by the end of 2021,” he said.
“To support the growth in settlement and commerce in and around Kasama, Zesco Limited extended its 330 Kv 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.”
He hoped the agreement would help to contribute to meeting growing demand for electricity in Zambia.
“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,” he added.
And speaking on behalf of the German government, German Ambassador to Zambia Achim Burkart said the energy sector was currently the biggest area of German-Zambian cooperation.
“Germany is a strong supporter of the global transformation towards renewable energy and one of the biggest providers of climate finance. That is why in Zambia, the energy sector is currently the biggest area of German-Zambian cooperation with an on-going grant portfolio of 109 million euros. We support GRZ in strengthening of the grid in Zesco’s Southern Division as well as through the Get Fit programme and this project,” he said.
He, however, added that implementing energy sector reforms in Zambia remained critical.
“We believe there must be urgency in implementing energy sector reforms to put Zesco back on a sustainable financial footing, to increase transparency and to foster greater market confidence. Only decisive action will help to ensure a low-cost clean energy future for Zambia with access to energy for all Zambians,” said Ambassador Burkart.
The project, financed by KfW, the German Development Bank, will rehabilitate and extend the Chishimba Falls Hydro Power Plant in Northern Province.
It will upgrade existing civil structures as well as construct a complete new power station with a foreseen total capacity of 15 MW.
The project will also play a key role in meeting the increasing energy demand in Kasama and neighbouring districts.