Wednesday, October 27, 2010

SA Dev. bank funds Kariba North hydro expansion

DBSA provides $105m for Zambia hydropower expansion

DBSA provides $105m for Zambia hydropower expansion

By: Chanel de Bruyn
26th October 2010

The Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) has provided the Zambia
Electricity Supply Corporation (Zesco) with a $105-million loan facility
to co-finance the expansion of its Kariba North Bank hydropower station.

The 360-MW hydropower station, which was being developed as an extension
to the existing 720-MW Kariba North Bank power station, on the Zambezi
river, would cost an overall $430-million.

China�s Sinohydro started the construction of the plant in November 2008.
The project was expected to be completed by December 2012.

�This signifies a major step change aimed to support the Southern African
Development Community energy supplies into a single integrated market and
facilitate regional integration upon which the economies of the region can
thrive,� said DBSA divisional executive Dr Bane Maleke.

The DBSA, along with other development finance institutions, has also
previously assisted in funding Zesco�s power rehabilitation programme
(PRP), which was aimed at replacing and upgrading ageing infrastructure at
the Kariba North, the Kafue Gorge and the Victoria Falls hydropower

At the existing Kariba North Bank hydropower station, the installed
capacity of three out of four turbines have been upgraded to 180 MW, up
from the previous 150 MW.

The fourth turbine, which would also be upgraded to 180 MW, was expected
to be on line by March next year.

Zambia�s hydroelectric potential stood at more than 6 000 MW, of which
less than 2 000 MW has yet been exploited.

Besides the Kariba North extension project, Zesco was also working on
implementing the $275-million 120-MW Itezhi Tezhi hydropower station,
which was expected to be completed by 2013.
Edited by: Mariaan Webb

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