Zambia eyes Sese power supply

SHARE   |   Sunday, 31 August 2014   |   By Staff Writer

ZESCO, the Zambian State Electricity utility, has executed  a Letter of Intent  with  African  Energy Resources Ltd (African  Energy)  confirming  their  interest  in  progressing  discussions and     technical studies that may potentially lead to long-term    power supply agreements.

The Letter of Intent confirms ZESCO’s interest in receiving power from African Energy’s proposed 300MW Sese Integrated Power Project for which development is planned to commence in 2015.
The next stage of transmission studies are critical in determining the cost and technical parameters for connection into the Botswana and Zambian electricity grids. Cooperation of the respective grid     managers, ZESCO and BPC (the Botswana state    electricity utility) is essential for    this process and has now been initiated.  Recent meetings    between the three parties have     agreed     the scope for the     necessary studies and Parsons Brinckerhoff Africa have been engaged to undertake the work.

The proposed transmission line    is planned to take up to    300MW    of new    power    generation capacity and     with further upgrading, up to 600MW of generation. This link would create a significant new     opportunity for     Zambia     and Botswana to trade power    within    the Southern Africa Power Pool and creates opportunities for both countries to diversify their power supply options and explore synergies between Zambia’s large, zero carbon    generation capacity based almost exclusively on hydropower and Botswana’s expanding capacity for low cost, reliable base load generation from coal.

The  proposed link  is  also close to  the  connection point  for the  recently  completed  Caprivi  DC connector, linking Namibia into the Zambian grid.  This deal will, however, connect into the ZESCO National Electricity Grid at or near the Livingstone substation. The economies of Namibia, Botswana and Zambia are all growing at steady rates, with forecasts of 4.2%, 5.4% and    7.1% GDP growth respectively in 2014. Growth in electricity demand continues at even     higher rates due to expansions in both     industrial use and even     faster    expansions in domestic demand. Governments    in these     countries are actively working to expand the state electricity grid into rural areas and    bring reliable and affordable electricity to people who until now have largely     relied upon wood and charcoal for cooking and heating.

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The Transmission Study    is scheduled for    completion within three months. Other    work will continue     during this time    to delineate other terms of agreement    required for the     project to proceed. African Energy    is developing a    series of 300MW integrated power projects and    captive    coal mines at its Sese     Project     in Botswana which have the potential to supply power into Zambia via a new transmission line in eastern Botswana.