THE Rural Electrification Authority (REA) has handed over the feasibility study report for the expansion of Zengamina Hydro Power station, a company which is supplying power to the entire Ikelenge district of North-Western Province.
REA chief executive officer Geoffrey Musonda said the authority has spent about K1.5million on the feasibility study and engineering design for the proposed Zengamina mini hydro power station.
This followed seven-years of cooperation between REA and the developers of Zengamina hydro scheme who have used their expertise in renewable mini hydro power to build capacity with technical staff at REA.
Mr Musonda said the study brought about three phases of development namely the construction of a dam with a reservoir at Chiyesu, construction of a power station at Chiyesu with one turbine of 872kW and connecting it to Zengamina I the already existing one, and also installing a second turbine at both Zengamina I and II, including construction of the 87km of transmission line from Ikelenge to Mwinilunga district.
Mr Musonda said the idea of having all the three machinery in operation was aimed at the project linked to the national grid. He said it was the Authority’s desire to contribute to the reduction of rural poverty through the provision of electricity infrastructure using appropriate technologies in order to contribute to the improvement of the quality of life.
Mr Musonda said the availability of power had transformed most of the rural areas.
“And this project will result into enough power which will be too much for the locality and therefore for this project to be viable it should be connected to the national grid,” he said. Mr Musonda said so far REA has implemented a total number of 149 grid extension projects and 928 solar projects to supply electricity to rural communities.
And Zengamina Hydro Power developer and managing director Daniel Rea said the released REA feasibility study would help the expansion of the project in good time for proper planning.
Mr Rea said initially, Zengamina Hydro power plant had been a tremendous success in supplying reliable, affordable power to the Ikelenge district.
He said the study was important and would contribute to the efforts made towards reducing loadsheding.
“We now need to expand the scheme on our upstream site before power runs short, so we will continue to avoid loadsheding and build this economy together,” he said.