Zambia has confirmed it will import 100 MW of electricity from Turkey’s Kardeniz Energy in a bid to prop up its ailing power sector.
In the next two weeks, the Turkish company is anticipated to begin supplying the country with electricity from one of its power-generating ships, called the Karadeniz Powership Irem Sulta, for a two-year period.
The company has a vessel docked in the port of Nacala in Mozambique. The ship will generate electricity which will then then transmitted via cross-border connection to Zambia.
Zambia has followed the lead of Ghana, which is currently importing 225 MW of electricity from Kardeniz through another power ship that has docked in the West African nation and has been connected to the national grid through the Tema power plant.
Ghana has signed a 10-year power purchase agreement (PPA) with Kardeniz for the supply of two power ships to generate 450 MW for the national grid. The second power ship is expected to be delivered to the country soon.
Kardeniz builds floating power stations which plug into electricity grids after berthing.
The power stations, commonly known as power badges, run on fuel oil, although they can also be operated with natural gas.
According to Zeynep Harezi, Kardeniz’s business development director, several other African nations have also expressed an interest in using the company’s power ships, which can be delivered in 120 days.
With Africa’s massive electricity deficit, power ships can only offer a small, short-term boost to power output, and cannot be seen as an integral part of the solution to Africa’s electricity woes.
Zambia is in the midst of an electricity crisis, with its deficit rising to 1,000 MW from 700 MW in November. Last week, Zambian President Edgar Lungu commissioned the new US$142 million Itezhi-Tezhi hydropower plant (HPP) , which will provide 120-MW of capacity.
However, Africa’s second largest copper producer has had to cut hydro generation owing to falling water levels at the Kariba Dam as severe drought has hit the region.