T he Transmission division of ZETDC has embarked on a two-year $30Million construction project of the 180 Kilometre (132) 88kV single lynx line from Insukamini to the Lupane 132 (88)/33kV substa-tion. The project is now 50% complete and is expected to improve power supplies in the surrounding areas, increase network reliability and quality of power supplies as well as reduce systems losses.

The project is being developed by TBEA of China through Engineering Procurement and Construction (EPC) and 100% concessional loan financing arrangement through EXIM Bank of China. The commercial contract be-tween ZESA/ZETDC and TBEA was signed in 2017.

There is growing load in and around Lupane where the existing 33kV network can no longer cope hence the need for the project to address such constraints. The scope of the project also entails the con-struction of a greenfield Lupane 132(88)/33kV substation equipped with two 20/30 MVA trans-formers, a 132 kV incoming bay line, four 36 kV outgoing feeder bays, installation of two 10MVA 36/11 kV transformers and six 11kV feeders.

When the project is completed in 2020, the system would be in a position to provide feedbacks to other sub-stations in the event of electrical faults. The Insukamini – Lupane mega project would also increase capacity to connect suppressed loads such as new residential stands and electrification of institutions such as schools and clinics.

The project and the inclusion of a component to resuscitate the downstream network will improve agricultural productivity in the area and help revive some of the irrigation schemes.The project is also earmarked to bene-fit the very-prone-to-drought areas hence a very compromised agricultural production irrigation farming is the only option, which could help reduce the risk of climate change on agricultural production.

The operational phase of the sub-transmission lines will enable the development of new irrigation facilities as well as reviving others that are currently not functional due to erratic electricity supplies on one hand and non-availability of transformers on the other.A total of 26 irrigation schemes are set to benefit from the project as part of the 132 kV line project’s social responsibility.

The project also benefits water pumping and treatment plants as well as booster stations.Since the prime ob-jective of any noble Corporate Social Responsibility policy is to uplift the standards of living of the people, the project will correct the acute lack of livelihood diversification in the area since most people are unemployed and their household incomes are based on agricultural activities*

 

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