26 Sep 2019

Construction of the 750MW Zambian Hydropower Station has been Suspended

26 Sep 2019  by Construction Review   
Construction of the 750MW hydropower station at Kafue Gorge in Zambia has been suspended. Syno Hydro Corporation has suspended the project after the Zambian government failed to pay the company for the construction work.

The hydro power project

The project includes the construction of a 140m-high concrete-face rockfill dam (CFRD) with a crest width between 8m and 10m and a length of approximately 378m. A surface powerhouse with a width of 44.5m, height of 58m and length of 127m, and housing five 150MW generator units.

The power transmission infrastructure at the hydroelectric station is expected to have a 300V switchyard with a provision for two outgoing transmission lines to a new and existing 330/132kV substation. The switchyard is also expected to have a provision for one short interconnector to the existing KGU power station and five incoming feeder bays.

Upon completion, the power station will also have an environmental release outlet channel, a spillway on the left bank with an overall width of 64m and maximum discharge capacity of 6,210m³/s. The right bank will have a flood release tunnel with a maximum capacity of 1,018m³/s and a 4.4km-long power tunnel. In addition, a floodgate will be built with five 400m-long penstocks. The left bank will feature a 980m-long diversion tunnel with a horse-shoe cross-section of 10mx14m.

Power shortage in Zambia

Zambia, like many other African countries, has been facing severe power shortages, where only 25% of its urban population and 3% of its rural population have access to electricity. Even though endowed with abundant water resources, poor infrastructure has hindered the landlocked country from turning its natural advantage into a stable energy source.

When complete, the project will address the growing demand for electricity in the country and surrounding regions and will alleviate the power deficit, thus supporting continued economic progress.

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