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HYDRO 2017

 

 
Shiwang'andu Small Hydropower Project in Zambia

 
SHIWANG'ANDU SHP PLANT
 
In Zambia 3% of the rural population and less than half of the urban population are connected to the grid. The government has thus set an overall target to achieve 50% access to electricity by 2030, primarily by tapping into the country’s vast renewable energy sources. 
 
As part of the “Lighting Up Rural Africa” (LURA) programme, three renewable energy based mini-grids were constructed in Muchinga Province. The project includes:
a) a small hydropower powered mini-grid (1 MW);
b) a biomass-gasifier powered mini-grid (1 MW); and
c) a solar powered energy mini-grid (36 kW).
 

 
Collaborative efforts between UNIDO, Zambia’s government, and technical experts from China brought to light the first hydro plant to be constructed since the 1970s.
 
Prior to 2012 residents in the rural villages of Shiwang’andu District had never been connected to the national grid. Located in isolated communities, they relied on limited electricity access from diesel-powered generators.
 
Zambia’s state owned energy utility Zambia Electricity Supply Corporation Limited (ZESCO) oversaw the small hydropower (SHP) plant’s operation and maintenance, while the International Center on Small Hydro Power (ICSHP) was contracted for its design and construction.
 
The Shiwang’andu ‘run-of-river’ scheme is powered by two 500kW units. Two 33kV distribution power lines connect neighboring Kapishya and Mukwikie Districts with 24 hour access to electricity. Twenty-five Chinese contractors and up to 70 local laborers worked on construction activities. With a total budget of US$ 7.506 million, a Global Environment Facility (GEF) grant provided US$ 2.95 million and government co-financing US$ 4.556 million.  
 

 
Plant construction was carried out with environmenal considerations in mind. A coffer dam diverted water during dam construction. This ensured that the downstream waterfall, an important tourist attraction in the area, continued its normal flow. A 1.5 meter fish gate within the dam helps migrating animals, such as fish, crabs and shrimp.

 

The electricity generated is used for income generating activities and energy services needed in target communities. To ensure local ownership, the communities, individual consumers, the public utility, and investors actively took part in the programme.

 
ZESCO employees and locals were trained by ICSHP in the operations and maintenance of the plant.
 
The Shiwang’andu Plant was commissed December 2012.
 
 



 

 

 

 

 

 


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