Eskom, Zambia ink power-sharing deal
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.