Eskom, Zam­bia ink power-shar­ing deal

CityPress - - Busi­ness -

Eskom has agreed to pro­vide as much as 300 megawatts of off­peak elec­tric­ity to Zam­bia as its own grid sta­bilises.

“Eskom signed a power-sup­ply agree­ment with Zesco and an in­de­pen­dent power pro­ducer, Cop­per­belt”, which are both mem­bers of the South­ern Africa Power Pool, in which util­i­ties sell sur­plus elec­tric­ity to each other, Eskom said on Fri­day.

Zam­bian En­ergy and Wa­ter Devel­op­ment Min­is­ter Dora Siliya ex­pressed in­ter­est in the sup­ply of 300MW when she met Pres­i­dent Jacob Zuma on Thurs­day.

The dry con­di­tions caused by the El Niño weather sys­tem are threat­en­ing Zam­bia’s power gen­er­a­tion be­cause of its de­pen­dence on hy­dropower. Wa­ter lev­els at the Kariba Dam on the Zam­bezi River are so low the plants may be forced to shut down. They gen­er­ate about 1 600MW of power for Zam­bia and Zim­babwe.

Eskom has strug­gled to meet elec­tric­ity de­mand after decades of un­der­in­vest­ment and de­lays in com­plet­ing new plants, but it has avoided man­aged load shed­ding for al­most five months.

“We trade on a daily ba­sis, and have signed a bi­lat­eral agree­ment that al­lows us to sup­ply up to 300MW of off-peak power and more than 50MW at peak times if we have more avail­able,” said Eskom.

– Bloomberg

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