ZESCO has invested over $260million to upgrade the power lines from Pensulo Substation in Serenje to Mpika-Kasama and Lusiwasi-Chipata from a 66KV to an industrial line with 330Kv to enable the provinces in the east and north of the country to do mining, manufacturing and other industrial economic activities.
Speaking when he paid a courtesy call to Northern Permanent Secretary, Emmanuel Mwamba in Kasama, ZESCO Managing Director, Mr. Cyprian Chitundu stated tendering processes were complete and contractors were expected to go on site.
He also stated that the work is expected to last 20months.
Mr. chitundu has also stated that the investment the company has made to increase generation capacity was almost complete and the country will have sufficient power.
He says this will ensure that the country will no longer suffer from load shedding and unnecessary power interruptions as the country will have over 1800kv enough power for country’s domestic consumption and meet Zambia’s energy export need to the region.
Mr. Chitundu also stated that other upgrade works in the power line infrastructure included the Livingstone-Kafue that will cost $90million, the Lusaka-Luangwa which will cost $62million, the Kariba-Kafue line that will cost US62million.
He also stated that ZESCO was spending over US$80million to install new substations in Lusaka adding that his management will ensure that the current state of power in the country where it was deemed unaffordable, unreliable, and inaccessible was a thing of the past and the future outlook of energy in the country was made bright.
And responding to the request by Mr. Mwamba for ZESCO to exploit the water resources, waterfalls and topography available in Northern Province, Mr. Chitundu stated that ZESCO had embarked on constructing and upgrading hydro-electric power stations in the region.
He says that ZESCO had set aside $220million to develop new hydro-power stations at Lunzuwa in Mbala and Lusiwasi in Serenje.
Mr. mwamba says the Chishimba Falls Hydro Power Station in Kasama and Musonda Falls Power Station in Luapula will be upgraded.
He says the investments in constructing and upgrading these hydro power stations was critical for Zambia to increase its generation capacity and meet its exports to the Democratic Republic of Congo, the great lakes region and Tanzania and Kenya in East Africa.
the northern province permanent secretary has also stated that ZESCO was considering setting up an industrial generator set in Kasama as a short term measure so that the persistent complaint of low voltage at peak hours in Northern, Muchinga, Luapula, and the DRC was resolved until the planned projects are complete.
mr mwamba says the equipment will cost the company up to $31million and can be installed in 8 weeks however the drawback was the huge cost of running the equipment as it required a huge amount of diesel.
And speaking earlier, Mr. Mwamba has bemoaned the poor and irregular supply of power to the province adding that the expectations of the people were that the new government was expected to resolve service delivery problems of the past.
Mr. Mwamba has also stated that government was promoting an ambitious development program in tourism, trade and agriculture and it had also embarked on the development of infrastructure in roads, bridges and airports.