Thursday, April 17, 2008
By Times Reporter
THE Energy Regulations Board (ERB) has recommended that Zesco should review its operations and ensure that a reasonable reserve capacity is always maintained for a stable power system even in emergencies. ERB chairperson, Sikota Wina, said in a statement in Lusaka yesterday that Zesco should also immediately undertake an analysis of the system to determine the re-inforcement needed to improve stability.
Releasing the findings of an ERB inquiry committee yesterday, Mr Wina said Zesco, in collaboration with the Copperbelt Energy Corporation (CEC), should accelerate the enforcement of minimum power factor operations by large industrial users and the mines.
“Such a system would enable Zesco to respond to the loss of generation by automatically switching off appropriate loads, thereby, balancing demand with the available generation,” he said
On the protection system, Mr Wina said Zesco should be able to maintain supplies to areas that could be isolated from the affected areas as that reduced the time restoration of the rest of the system.
He further said that Zesco and CEC should take immediate steps to acquire any equipment needed to synchronise all events on recorders.
Mr Wina said there should be a minimal period of restoration and that the committee recommended that all stand-by equipment should be available while efforts to create more power stations should be doubled.
The committee was unable to fully assess the economic impact of the blackouts and the current load-shedding, and suggested that the Government and the ERB should commission a separate study.
Mr Wina said regulating Zesco posed a challenge because it was publicly owned.
The committee suggested a review of some institutional and legal frameworks to enhance ERB’s effectiveness.
Zambia was in total darkness on January 19, 21 and 22 this year, forcing the ERB to set up a commission of inquiry to investigate the blackouts.
Jorry Mwenechanya chaired the committee while other members were George Samiselo, Raphael Salasini, and Clement Sasa. Others were Chiteta Ching’ambu, John Muleya, Ireen Musonda, Mathew Lindunda, and Nelly Mutti.