Zambia to supply electricity to South Africa for 2010 World Cup

Zambia has agreed to supply power to South Africa to help avoid power disruptions during the 2010 FIFA World Cup, the head of the state power utility Zesco said on Saturday.

South Africa’s power grid has been under pressure for more than two years and experienced country-wide power cuts early in 2008. State-owned Eskom has said there would be adequate supply for the soccer tournament.

Zesco acting managing director, Cyprian Chitundu said on state ZNBC television Zambia would supply power to South Africa and the quantity would depend on Zambia’s surplus capacity as well demand from South Africa.

“We support each other with South Africa (and) what is going to happen is that when they need some power, we will be able to give them that power,” Chitundu said.

“But I have also realised that we are constrained and so, we are only going to give them power during the off-peak hours when we do not need so much power.”

Chitundu said the Zambia’s decision to export power to Africa’s biggest economy followed a meeting between the two countries last month.

“At that meeting, we showed them our commitment that we will be able to support them,” he said.

Zambia generates 1,400 MW of electricity and consumes about 800 MW but demand rises to 1,500 MW at peak times.

Eskom , which provided 95 percent of the South Africa’s power, Eskom has been rationing electricity since early 2008 when the grid nearly collapsed.

Source: Reuters

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